Six Auckland primary schools have taken out top titles at this year's Auckland Regional Kapa Haka competition. This year sees TKKM o Hoani Waititi, Ngā Tapuwai, TKKM a Rohe o Māngere, TKKM o Puau, Henderson Intermediate and Clendon Park secure a spot at the National competition.
Judge Ruki Tobin said, “The main outcome of this event is to instil the seed of kapa haka into the hearts of these children so they may carry on this tradition in the years to come.”
This is the outcome of sacrificing lunch breaks and weekends at the Auckland Primary School Kapa Haka Regionals.
Te Kura a rohe o Māngere Principal Lucy Te Moana says, “It's very heart-warming for whānau to watch their kids and their grandkids perform on stage. The past two days have been great.”
This year 25 primary schools from across Auckland converged at Otara's Kia Aroha College over the weekend to showcase the best of their kapa haka talents. These schools have been practising for many months in the hopes of earning a ticket to the Nationals.
“It's difficult to judge our babies because they are all so outstanding. I must also commend Kia Aroha College for their hospitality. It's been an outstanding weekend and just goes to show what an important event this is for whānau,” says Tobin.
The competition saw many mainstream schools participate for the first time this year. According to Lucy Te Moana, the calibre of kapa haka is lifting throughout the country, a clear sign that kapa haka is well and truly thriving.
“In my opinion, regardless of who the Auckland group are, I believe there are plenty of groups in the regions are of the same calibre,” says Te Moana.
The Nationals will be hosted next year in Gisborne.