Eight decades of kapa haka on display

By Taroi Black

Eighty years of traditions and contemporary Māori dance called Hakapapa will be exhibited at Te Matatini 2019 in Wellington.

Manu Aute director Ginny Maxwell, who has worked alongside many haka stalwarts across the region, collected many artefacts and images which will be on display throughout the festival at Te Papa Tongarewa.

“The haka papa exhibition was to inspire the Wellington region. Working with the nannies for the last six months was awesome and the oldest is 87.”

The exhibition also pays homage to the late Riria Utiku who was an iconic stalwart for Ngāti Pōneke Māori Youth Club over 80 years.

Last year she died at 102 and was celebrated amongst her family who is the longest serving group for urban Māori.

Maxwell says spectators at the opening ceremony will experience many classical tunes which she helped orchestrate with the Wellington Kapa Haka Society Committee at Waitangi Park.

“I guess for us, we've got one of the biggest histories; the oldest and longest history of competitive kapa haka. We have some of our nannies who worked alongside Jock McEwin. History tells it that Jock made a huge impact on the competition that's coming to town.”

Te Papa Museum will launch the Hakapapa Exhibition on the eve of Te Matatini ki te Ao.