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Whakatū, Nelson, recently played host to Te Huinga Whetū National Kura Tuarua Kapa Haka Competition, gathering together 42 of the top secondary schools across Aotearoa, showcasing their skills in traditional Māori performing arts. Each performance was a breathtaking display of precision, passion, demonstrating mastery in various elements of kapa haka, including waiata, haka, poi, and mōteatea.

Whakatū provided an idyllic backdrop, welcoming kaihaka, whānau, and kura with open arms and open chilly bins of kai moana. Haka, waiata, and “mōrena” echoed through the streets of Whakatū creating an atmosphere of unity and celebration.

Te Huinga Whetū is more than just a competition; it is an essential platform for young Māori to connect and express their identity. Kapa haka plays a crucial role in the education and personal development of rangatahi, fostering a sense of community, discipline, and pride. The event also provides an opportunity for non-Māori to engage with and appreciate the richness te ao Māori has to offer.

As the final notes of waiata faded and the dust settled on the competition stage, the culmination of countless hours of training and dedication had reached its pinnacle, marking the end of an unforgettable journey. Te Huinga Whetū National Kura Tuarua Kapa Haka Competition not only celebrated the incredible talent of young kaihaka but also highlighted the enduring strength and beauty of te ao Māori.

Whakatū proved to be a fitting host for this celebration, leaving a lasting impression on all who attended. Te Huinga Whetū will continue to shine brightly, illuminating the path for future generations of rangatira.

Congratulations to all those involved with this campaign – we know there have been many, many hours/days/weeks of mahi that has gone into achieving your successes!

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