On Friday 22 February, Year 8, 9 and 10 te reo Māori students attended the national kapa haka competition ‘Te Matatini ki te Ao’ at the Westpac Stadium, accompanied by their teachers Whaea Rāhera and Whaea Cathy (Rāhera Meinders and Cathy Curtis).
Despite the misty weather, the excitement of the event brightened the students’ spirits. They watched three out of the 46 competing groups perform: Te Taha Tū, of Tāmaki Makaurau; Te Rerenga Kōtoku, of Ngāti Kahungunu; and Ngā Tumanako, of Tāmaki Makaurau.
Ngā Tumanako, was one of the top nine finalists and won the overall competition. The group challenged people to speak te reo Māori in their performance. Ngā Tumanako was originally founded for students and past students of New Zealand’s first Māori immersion school ‘Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae’. One of the group’s aims is to challenge people to speak te reo Māori and embrace Māori tikanga. It was rather fitting that the group’s first time winning Te Matatini was watched by QMC’s te reo Māori students.
In addition to watching the kapa haka groups perform, students had the opportunity to immerse themselves in all things Māori. They sampled delicious Māori kai, inked temporary Māori tattoos and saw a variety of Māori stalls promoting their services, arts and crafts.