Newly formed group Te Poutūmāro ready for Waitaha stage

By Taroi Black
  • South Island

A new haka group will take centre stage tomorrow at the Waitaha Kapa Haka Regional in Christchurch. Members are from across the South Island and hope to lift the level of haka in the South Island.

The newly formed group Te Poutūmāro is trying to reach new heights in kapa haka.

Te Poutūmāro tutor Tom Alesana says, “We spoke about forming Te Poutūmāro when we were in Hawaii last year at the Te Manahua Festival. As tutors, we wanted to find a way to lift the standard of kapa haka.”

The group formed to unite Māori living in the South Island and also to reunite with old friends who are kapa haka enthusiasts.

Co-tutor Jahmaine Cummings-Hodge says, “The idea stemmed from myself and Mahia Brown from tutors of Te Iti o Tahuna and tutors from Te Whatukura. So we started to pull in a group and look for performers who were eager to raise the bar in the level of competitiveness with Kapa Haka in the South Island.”

According to Alesana, “That's why this team was formed, so our whānau from Canterbury, Dunedin, Nelson and Auckland could be a part of it.”

The next step was getting the team fit and ready for the Waitaha Regionals.

Mahia Brown who is also part of the tutoring team says, “We also started a six-week challenge with them, Te Wero, so the majority of our group are on the challenge they teach us about a healthier lifestyle and teach us exercises to do at home.”

One of the challenges for Te Poutūmāro was looking for a particular style that would suit them.

“We haven't yet identified our style but what we've tried to do is veer off what's been happening in the current market,” says Cummings-Hodge.

Tomorrow, we'll find out which style will come into play in Christchurch.