First disabled haka group striving for the national stage

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

The first Te Anga Paua kapa haka symposium for disabled people was held at Te Mānukanuka o Hoturoa Marae in Auckland today.  Some of the country's top performers weighed in to support the team's endeavours to get to the national stage.

Kapa haka advocate Annette Wehi told Te Kāea, “Their goal is to perform on the Te Matatini stage. We all know how difficult that is but there's no harm in trying.”

The Te Anga Paua Kapa Haka symposium is the largest Māori performing arts provider aimed at teaching disabled people in the country.

The performers have come to Auckland from as far as Kaitaia right through to Invercargill and range from between 20 to 60 years old.

“Some of our people have never performed in front of an audience before,"  says organiser Taki Peeke.

The group's ultimate goal is to prepare their performers to get them to the Te Matatini stage by 2020.