Masterton Intermediate kapa haka group practising. PHOTOS/EMMA BROWN
Kapa haka is building strength at Masterton Intermediate School with this year’s group approximately 180-strong.
The children are gearing up for the Whakaoriori Kapa Haka Festival at Makoura College later this month.
MIS Principal Russell Thompson said there was strong support for and effort from primary schools in relation to kapa haka.
The school’s group features a mix of rookies and those who have participated at their respective primary schools, before intermediate.
Deputy principal Olivia Geange said it was an ‘inclusive’ activity, and the teachers were also passionate about it.
Kapa haka was part of the school’s timetable, which showed that it was valued, she said..
Thompson said it was “a lot more than just some poi, haka and waiata”.
“They learn pride and discipline. They learn to work hard. You are not going to learn stuff if you don’t concentrate.”
The MIS group had had an increase in the number boys joining in the past couple years which Thompson said was “great”.
Pupil Murphy Henrichsen said, he joined the kapa haka group after he saw them perform at orientation.
His favourite part is learning a haka because “you get to look mad for no reason”.
Jaydah-Rose Paku-Rongonui said she joined because, “it is a part of my culture”, and a great way to meet new people.
She enjoys how they are taught the meaning behind what they are performing.
“Mr Thompson makes sure you learn the English, so you understand,” he said. “It helps you sing all of it with meaning.”