Tough calls to be made around whether kapa haka should hold regional competitions

By Jessica Tyson

Kapa haka are making some tough calls whether they should hold regional competitions to qualify for the national Te Matatini festival, or simply choose their representatives.

It comes after the Waitaha and Aotea Senior kapa haka regionals have already been cancelled this year, following an option by Te Matatini to leave the decision to the remaining regional groups to determine who their representative teams will be at next year's nationals. 

Chey Milne from Arataua Media and who hosts Kapa Haka Yarns on Facebook says it's a tough call.

“I know Tai Tokerau still has to have their hui. As of yesterday it was status quo August 22 was the next proposed date but who knows now. One region has made a decision, has drawn a line on the sand… So it’s going to be an interesting one.”

Milne says there are some positive and negative benefits about cancelling regional events and takes his hat off to the Waitahi committee for actually making a quick decision.

“So kia kaha to them and along with Aotea as well.”

Senior kapa haka are also being asked whether the national competition in Auckland next year should be postponed given the impact of Covid-19.

“If you keep it on then we’ve got to change the way it is. Move it to some sort of different location or something or postpone and then we’re all good,” says Milne.

Te Matatini has extended the date for senior kapa haka to stage their regional competitions and qualify for the national festival to September 31.