Kapa Haka efforts unite and inspire

On song

Aotea Ūtanganui have put on yet another strong performance at this year’s regional competition.

And while they missed out on a chance to compete at the national tournament, their power and passion was not lost on the crowd.

Hundreds of performers from Waitara to Ratana contested the Aotea Kapa Haka event at a packed out Springvale Stadium in Whanganui recently.

Aotea Ūtanganui received a standing ovation at the end of their performance and the video of their piece reached tens of thousands of people in mere hours – making it the most watched of the whole competition.

Tutors Andy and Janine Maruera said hours upon hours of practice were put to the test the minute they walked on stage.

“We really felt the support of our whanau from Hawera and Patea, in particular, this time round,” Janine said.
“That was exciting for us to have whanau be there and not just on the day. Almost two years of work came down to 30 minutes.’’

She said during the event they focussed inward more than on “the comp”.

“If it’s all about the comp it can be quite damaging when you don’t make it through.”

Janine said as a group they could be proud of how far they had come in recent years, and where they were heading. Andy said they were now looking to bring all the Patea Maori Cultural Theatre Trust groups together.


“We are now looking at getting more of our members to switch over to the Patea Maori Club side. It’s about establishing their stage presence and getting more practice on the fundamentals.”

Janine said it was like off-season training.

“It’s easy to do but you are still keeping your singing voice going, learning from other people and different styles. For us that is what it is all about – passing on these skills to the next generation.”

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