New Kapa Haka Competition Expands Rangatahi Horizons

By Mare Haimona-Riki

A fresh new Kapa Haka tournament gives taiohi Māori an opportunity to expand their reo and kapa haka skills.

Named “Tira Haka Tekau", each ten member team is given a ten minute performance slot.

The new competitive format did not stop Te Wharekura ō Rākaumangamanga from defeating the other two kapa at the Tū Tonu Rehabilitation Center in Hamilton.

Nellie Abraham, Director at Takapaukura Consultancy Services who partnered with Tū Tonu to launch the event, said:

"This particular kapa haka competition is yet another way to encourage Te Reo amongst out rangatahi, and to also encourage to think outside of the box in terms of their creativity in performance”.

Paimarire Maipi and Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clark who represent the Huntly based kura, were excited that they are able to compete in new style of haka performance, but their preference leans towards the traditional style.

Hana Rawhiti stated, "I like it but I still prefer traditional because it’s more than just entertaining, but it’s a way of remembering our ancestors". 

Rākaumangamanga is no stranger to performing, having performed at the 'Merrie Monarch Festival' earlier this year. Ora Kihi, a Kaiako from the winning team said:

“I think its great that kapahaka is allowing these kids to experience the world, while doing something that they love".

Rākaumangamanga takes home the first place reward of $1,500.