Introducing ASB Bank’s very own kapa haka team

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

After 33 years of sponsoring the event, ASB has formed its own kapa haka group that will take the stage at the Auckland secondary schools' cultural competition, ASB Polyfest.

With more than 15 members, the ASB haka group provides an opportunity for ASB staff at all levels to connect with their Māori whānau in the wider bank.

ASB Bank’s kapa haka tutor Tama Pene says, “It's showcasing this aspect of the Māoridom. Some of the employees here are from overseas, they haven't seen this aspect of kapa haka and Māoridom, so that's great that I can portray that.”

ASB initiated the ASB haka group to come together honouring heritage and embracing the culture.

“For them, to know who they are, their Māori identity to stand proudly with that Māori identity.”

ASB Bank employee and kapa haka member Stacey McDonald told Te Kāea, “Some of them haven't and I think this opportunity for them is would be like a Matatini performance to them to stand at ASB Polyfest. Some of them in school didn't have the opportunity to do Kapa Haka so for them this week is all about preparation for what their big performance is as a group and they can't wait and I'm pumping for us to get on stage.”

ASB Bank Regional Manager Ngaire Angus says ASB has sponsored the Polyfest for 33 years.

“The opportunity to perform means that we're not just paying lip service to our sponsorship of the Polyfest. We've got our Samoan group who are performing, we also have a Diwali group that were to perform. So ASB is absolutely walking the talk.”

The ASB haka group will perform on the Māori stage during the prize-giving ceremony on Saturday afternoon.