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Kapa haka brings it to Colombo

Pani Martin [left] and Akueara Nia Nia are competing with Te Rangiura o Wairarapa. They’re pictured on the stage which is being set up for the competition. PHOTO/ELI HILL

ELI HILL
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The sounds of waiata and kapa haka will ring out in Masterton on Saturday as Wairarapa hosts the Ngati Kahungunu Regional Kapa Haka Competition.

It has been 14 years since Wairarapa last hosted the event.

Performances start at 8.30am, with 14 groups performing throughout the day.

Te Rangiura o Wairarapa would be performing at 1.30pm and would be competing for a place at the national kapa haka competition, Te Matatini.

Te Rangiura o Wairarapa members Pani Martin and Akueara Nia Nia were at the venue on Wednesday as the stage was set up.

Martin said it was nerve-wracking leading up to the competition, “but nerves are normal”.

Their group of 42-43 performers had been practising for the event since August.

The competition would take place at McJorrow Park and the Colombo Netball Courts, Masterton.

Anyone is welcome, and the entry fee is a koha [donation].

The theme of the competition is Wairarapa ka hoki mai te reo – We’re fulfilling prophecy.

There would be water available, but organisers have asked people to bring a camping chair or cushion and a drink bottle.

A haka powhiri to welcome the groups to the region would take place today at 10am.

There are about 200 school students taking part in the haka powhiri from Lakeview School, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Wairarapa, Makoura College, Wairarapa College, Solway College and Chanel College.

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