Logout

Saturday, July 20, 2024
10.1 C
Masterton

ADVERTISE WITH US

My Account

- Advertisement -

The big stage beckons

Te Rangiura o Wairarapa gave its final dress rehearsal before the kapa haka nationals in front of a capacity crowd at Masterton’s Trust Stadium on Sunday.

The Masterton group will head to Auckland later this month for Te Matatini – a significant festival in the Maori cultural calendar that includes Aotearoa’s biggest kapa haka competition.

It will be the second time the 44-strong team has competed at the national event, having placed 21st out of 42 in their 2019 debut.

“We do an open practice, find out what works, and perform for our whanau,” co-founder Irihapeti Roberts said.

“We stopped counting at the door after the first 450 arrivals. People had to sit on the stairs because there weren’t enough seats.”

This year’s competition, which begins on February 22, is being held at Eden Park, where a crowd of 60,000 is expected.

Roberts said participating in kapa haka served a dual purpose.

“It’s a vehicle to revitalise our language and our culture, and to improve the wellbeing of our members.

“It’s not obvious to people on the outside, but health is hugely important to us. Most of us are from east Masterton – the bottom of every statistic.”

The group’s Amine Atu Ana haka touches on significant parts of their shared history.

“Our haka speaks of violent colonisation through Maori land, the Tohunga Suppression Act [1907], and the Suppression of Rebellion Act [1863] which allowed land confiscation – people who didn’t sell their land could be killed on the spot.

“Every item is like a history lesson, about why we’re at the bottom of the statistics. We’re not performing a haka without a good reason.” hugely important to us. Most of us are from east Masterton – the bottom of every statistic.”

The group’s Amine Atu Ana haka touches on significant parts of their shared history.

“Our haka speaks of violent colonisation through Māori land, the Tohunga Suppression Act [1907], and the Suppression of Rebellion Act [1863] which allowed land confiscation – people who didn’t sell their land could be killed on the spot.

“Every item is like a history lesson, about why we’re at the bottom of the statistics. We’re not performing a haka without a good reason.”

When Te Rangiura o Wairarapa was formed in 2016, a Wairarapa kapa haka group hadn’t performed at Te Matatini for two decades.

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
Trending
Masterton
light rain
10.1 ° C
11.6 °
10.1 °
99 %
1.4kmh
100 %
Sat
11 °
Sun
13 °
Mon
10 °
Tue
10 °
Wed
14 °