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Kapa Haka Comes To Town!

Traditional Maori performing arts groups will compete on Saturday, February 24 to see who will represent Auckland at the National Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Festival to be held in Auckland next year.

Auckland City Council has contributed $12,000 to the event. Councillor Victoria Carter, Chairperson of the City Attractions Committee, said she had been pleased to endorse the festival as it played an important part in celebrating Auckland's unique Maori heritage.

"These groups put a huge amount of work into their preparation and the results are quite awesome¡¨, she said.

The Tamaki Makaurau Senior Kapa Haka Festival will be held at the Okahu Domain in Tamaki Drive, beginning at 7.30am with a traditional Maori welcome ceremony. The competitors are all senior members from performing arts clubs throughout the Auckland region and have been practising since last August for the event.

A festival atmosphere is expected during the day, with stalls on the site as well as traditional Maori food and food from other cultures. More than 5000 people from all over the country are expected to attend the free event.

Organiser Mr Ken Kerehoma says 11 teams will perform during the day. Performers include Te Waka Huia and Te Roopu Manutaki, both past winners of the national competition.

Mr Kerehoma says there are five disciplines to each performance ¡V choral (which was optional), the entrance, traditional Maori song, action song, poi display, the haka and exit from the stage.

He says the performances combine traditional Maori songs and contemporary dance movements. The choreography is more dynamic than in traditional presentations and elements of the performance, usually done by men, were also performed by women.

The site for the competition is also significant, as the Okahu Domain was the site of the original Ngati Whatua o Orakei pa.

Councillor Carter said she hoped as many people as possible would take the time to visit the competitions at some time during the day as it will be a great festival and a wonderful opportunity for people to experience Kapa Haka and traditional and contemporary Maori culture at its best.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
„h Councillor Victoria Carter, tel: (09) 529 1121 or 025 377 018.

Ref:gd

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