Super 9's haka competition in memory of the late Jojo Waaka

By Heeni Brown

New Zealand Māori and Arts and Crafts Institute are in the process of lining up the first ever Jojo Super 9's kapa haka competition. 

Where groups consisting of nine performers will only have nine minutes to showcase their talent in a bid to win cash prizes and giveaways.

New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts General Manager Eraia Kiel says, "The Jojo Super Nines is different to the Super 12 type competition. Yes, there needs to be a traditional element, but there is plenty of room for creativity."

But the competition isn't just about the win, it's also an acknowledgement of the late Jojo Waaka, a much-loved kapa haka performer and entertainer of te ao Māori, who passed away suddenly earlier this year.

A close friend to Jojo Waaka, Dominique Werahiko says, "I am so excited about this competition because Jojo Waaka was one of our closest friends. It's one of those competitions that she would've really love because everything about it describes the type of person she was in terms of Kapa Haka." 

The event is also part of the 50-year-celebrations of the Institute in conjunction with their Matariki Māori new year celebrations as well. 

It's only been five days since registrations opened and already people have shown their interest in the competition.

Eraia Kiel says, "About six teams have registered and we are looking for 20 teams to fill the competition for the week."

Performances will take place between 1-3pm and runs from Monday 26th June to Friday 30th June.