Trophy tribute to Damon Heke

By Taroi Black

The South Auckland primary kapa haka regionals are commemorating the late Damon Heke, a former leader of the wider South Auckland community.  His family presented the hosts, Finlayson Park School, a trophy in his name.

His son Havon Heke says, “The trophy was carved by my uncle Jay Mason in memory of my father Damon Heke.  Our father was instrumental holding classes to teach weaponry. Hence why the trophy is a patu.”

Heke and his family were fully involved in the developing Māori culture at Finlayson Park School.

Principal Shirley Maihi says, “His children have all been through our school in our Māori immersion unit, Te Huringa, and so he sure is looking down on us today and saying 'well done'.”

15,000 people are expected to attend the two day event in Manurewa.

The competition consists of 17 teams vying for 6 spots at the primary national festival next year in Waikato.