by Matua Tahau Thompson

Kapa Haka group's road to regionals

Another Kapa Haka campaign draws to a close and Matua Tahau Thompson reflects on the 2019 journey for Te Kapa Haka o Hato Paaora.

This year was markedly different than ever before with our Kapa Haka making their inaugural stand at the Waikato Kapa Haka Regional Competition 2019 - Te Toi Whanake.

On the 28th June, the team gave their all and brought passion and ferocity to bear upon all who witnessed. They embodied the long-held art’s of their tupuna Tane-Rore (eponyms ancestor male Maori dance) and Hine-te-Rehia (eponyms ancestor female Maori dance). Above all else, they made their whaanau proud.

This year’s Kapa Haka campaign featured one noho marae, and regular mid-week, evenings, and lunch practices. Attendance was amazing as our doors opened to all that had a passion for learning, kapa haka, kai and being apart of our whaanau. In total the group boosted on average 28 students throughout the campaign. This year we also welcomed new tutors from Hamilton Girls High School - Pani Pottes and Puhirere Akuhata - who worked with our waahine in developing the poi and waiata-aa-ringa. The performance bracket was a homage to the classic waiata and haka of yesteryear, with the exception being a new composition that pays tribute to the lessons of late Dr Wharehuia Milroy.

“Ko too manawa, ko tooku manawa. - Your heart and mine are one.” Students dedicated their performances to all our tupuna who have passed on. “E kore raatou e warewaretia - they will not be forgotten by us.”

The new year will hold challenges and promise aplenty with new uniforms (piupiu), a dedicated marae noho marae programme and ever-rising performance expectations.

Our sincere aroha to the hosts of this year’s competition Te Wharekura o Raakaumanga - hospitality extraordinaire. To all our whaanau, who gave of their time, passion and support - Te Whaanau Rawiri, Te Whaanau Te Ua, Te Whaanau Wikaira, Te Whaanau MacDonald / Ellice, Te Whaanau Cardon, staff and past students - mei kore ake ko koutou ko teenei kapa.

“Ki te kotahi te kaakaho ka whati, ki te kaapuia e kore e whati - if there is but one strand I will fail, but if we bind many strands we are invincible ”.

Lastly, to our kaitaataki tane and kaitaataki - he manawa-aa-whenua e kore e mimiti - a well spring of aroha that will never run dry.