Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae wins 20th Te Ahurea festival

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae has won the 20th Te Ahurea Tino Rangatiratanga festival, the kapa haka competition for Auckland secondary schools. Original performer, Renee Savage says the festival continues to be supported by those who performed at the inaugural festival.

Despite the cold wet weather, the competition was hot on the stage.

For Renee Savage, one of the original performers and Deputy Principal at Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae, a lot of benefits have happened as a result of the competition.

“The development of some of the former students and performers, who are teachers of their own groups now, and have become judges of the competition. So they've returned to uphold the philosophy of the competition.”

Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae principal Arahia Stirling, “The skills of the students has improved, they understand what they're singing about, the words of the songs, and the depth of thought within their performance.”

The first Te Ahurea Tino Rangatiratanga festival was held in 1996, by reo Māori teachers in Auckland, to keep the autonomy of kapa haka festivals with schools and their whānau community.

Parent Piripi Taylor says, “Firstly Māori benefit from this.  To bring Māori families together, whom most of the time, live apart from their relatives in Auckland.  The good thing about this school, is that families can come here for their children to receive a Māori education, for the good of everyone.”

Next year the schools will return to the stage.  The first and second place winners will go on to compete in the national secondary school competition at Manawatū, in 2018