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Marae welcome for national haka champions

Marae welcome for national haka champions

Te Piringa members warm up at Massey Wellington’s Te Kuratini Marae before attending a prizegiving in Wellington last night, where they were named winners of the national secondary school kapa haka competition.

Friday, June 20, 2008
Marae welcome for national haka champions

Massey University’s Te Kupenga o Te Mätauranga Marae at Hokowhitu will be the scene of an emotional welcome for this year’s national secondary schools kapa haka competition winners this afternoon.

Te Piringa was named as the competition winner at a prizegiving ceremony in Wellington last night. The group, with members drawn from four Manawatu schools, returned to Palmerston North today to share their success with whänau and friends. At the last nationals, in 2006, Te Piringa placed third and took what they learnt then, into their approach for this year.

Massey alumnus Leon Blake is one of the group’s seven tutors and says it may have been the group’s simplicity that won on the day. “We have always tried to keep it simple; simple is our point of difference,” he says.

Mr Blake says the group was formed 10 years ago and is relatively new. All students from Palmerston North Girls’, Palmerston North Boys’, Freyberg High School and Te Kura Kaupapa Mäori o Mana Tamariki are invited to join the team. Mr Blake says while three of the four schools have more than 1000 students enrolled, it is still a challenge to fill the 40 places on the team. “We fielded 18 boys this year, the highest number of boys so far. We also had many first timers join, so we concentrated on keeping things simple and elegant.”

Te Piringa has had a close association with Massey University and used Te Kupenga o Te Mätauranga Marae as its training base. While in Wellington, the group rehearsed and stayed at the University’s Te Kuratini Marae.


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