Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei host inaugural primary school kapa haka festival

By Dion Hosking

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei hosted an inaugural Māori cultural festival at Ōrākei Marae. The event was held for primary schools in the central Auckland region to uplift and encourage students from all ethnicities within the Māori performing arts. 

10 schools came together to take the stage for one common goal 'Māori performing arts'

Maioha Holmes Te Kura a Rito o Te Uru Karaka - Newton Central School says, "At first I was nervous but when we started to sing I felt great."

Gus Poi, Te Kura a Rito o Te Uru Karaka says. "Shy but when I first got in there I was like this is going to be terrible and then when I got into it I was like actually, this is pretty fun."

A non-competitive event to bring communities closer together during Māori New Year.

Event Organiser Te Arohanui Hawke, Ngāti Whātua, Tainui, says, "The majority of the community will stay in their houses, they rarely visit our meeting house, so the initial concept came into fruition, to open our doors of our meeting house."

Broadcaster Stacey Morrison who attended the event says, "Oh how fabulous this event is, where we see the quintessence of children expressing their Māoriness and watching the children brings tears to my eyes, as it's not only Māori children, there is Asian and European children, this is a great thing."

Organisers believe progress can be achieved through communities sharing.

Morrison says "We are encouraging those who want to learn Māori performing arts and ensuring to keep it entertaining and fun for the children.

"Through keeping things like this alive, to me this is a great thing for māoridom."

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei hope to take this event to Spark Arena in two years.