Te Kapa Haka o Te Āwhina Marae
By Rima Piggott
Te Kapa Haka o Te Āwhina Marae was created to support our Māori Community under the mana of our marae.
When the karanga came from our wider whānau to support Te Tau Ihu Senior Kapa Haka Regional competition we decided to challenge ourselves by standing as a rōpū ngahau.
Our rōpū was made up of 36 members aged 14 through to late 50s. Many were first time performers so nurturing these members was a priority. Within our group we had 14 who are registered Ngāti Rārua members.
Pohe Stephens, one of our Ngāti Rārua rangatahi, composed two of our waiata one was on the history of our Wharekai, Te Āwhina (which turns 60 this year and we will celebrate this milestone in August) plus he also composed a waiata honouring one of our Matāwaka kuia who made a huge contribution to our Motueka community and marae. Another Ngāti Rārua whānau member composed our waiata tira while his wife taught us the harmony within this.
Overall, Sean won us first place in the whaikōrero and we won third place in a number of other areas. We came off the stage feeling excited and proud of our contribution to kapa haka in our rohe, we hope this will help inspire others to join
in preparation for Te Tau Ihu regionals 2020, where a minimum of 8 teams must stand to enable Te Tau Ihu to host the national competition Te Matatini in 2025.
Where to from here? Te Kapa Haka o Te Āwhina will continue to train fortnightly, learn new and old waiata and another group Motueka-Mai-Tawhiti will emerge to perform competitively. Possibly under the umbrella of Te Āwhina Marae, we may also expect our ngahau group to learn the competitive bracket so they are able to support them where needed.
Finally we want to thank Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua for the generous koha towards the purchase of our uniforms which we wore with pride. Should Te Rūnanga require an entertainment group we would be happy to assist!
This story is part of the September 2018 Ngāti Rārua Pānui. To review the stories in the September edition click here.