Alazhe Meihana-Te Whata leading the group in ‘Mai Araara’. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

CHELSEA BOYLE

chelsea.boyle@age.co.nz

Masterton Intermediate School shone amongst a handful of Manawatu schools to win the Super Arts Culture competition last week.

Principal Russell Thompson said the kids performed with “great pride and energy” and won the competition by two points, with a score of 280 out of 300.

“This was an outstanding achievement for our school,” Mr Thompson said.

The school took 70 pupils to Ross Intermediate in Palmerston North for a competition which also included Feilding Intermediate School, Monrad Intermediate School, and Palmerston North Intermediate School.

The Masterton Intermediate School pupils performed two Samoan and four Maori items in their set.

Deputy principal Cam Maunder said they “knew the kids had it in them” but they were never sure what it would be like on the day.

They managed to surpass his high expectations – “They were lifting the roof off the place”.

The children went out there to make the audience laugh, he said.

“There was lots of support from the crowd, lots of smiling faces looking back at us.”

He said the group were well prepared and had put in “quite a few lunchtime practices” to make the mark.

Helping children connect with Maori culture was “an integral part of what we do here at MIS”, he said.

Maori culture was a “precious” part of Kiwi culture.