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Kapa Haka Kids Doing it the Smokefree Way

Monday 15 September 2008

Kapa Haka Kids Doing it the Smokefree Way

Most young people think smoking looks ugly and doesn’t help you make friends, which is why this year’s primary and junior kapa haka competition is smokefree, says Maui Tangohau.

Mr Tangohau, Chair of the Tairawhiti Cultural Development Trust which has the responsibility of organising the Tamararo Auahi Kore Primary Junior Competition, says most young people believe that smoking “does not make you look good, cool, sexy, or help you make friends”.

He says youngsters are less likely to become a smoker if they feel valued and connected to their whanau, school and community.

“The local Tamararo kapa haka competitions reach across the entire community and so we want to communicate the smokefree message within that supportive culture.”

Seventeen primary teams and three junior teams have already registered for this year’s Primary Junior Tamararo competition at the Gisborne Show Grounds Event Centre on this Saturday [[Saturday 20 September]], from 9am. Teams are formed at primary and secondary schools, kohanga reo, and within communities.

In previous years stand out performing teams have included Lytton High School (Junior section), and Te Kura o Manutuke and Te Hokowhitu a Tu roopu in the Primary section. Earlier this year Lytton High School earned a spot in the National Secondary Schools’ Maori Performing Arts Competition, taking second place.

Mr Tangohau said in last year’s local Primary Junior competition there was a new level of consistency, and credible performances from all teams in both sections.

“The effort and time put in by teams to prepare is immense and this year will be no different. There is always optimism and watch out for those teams who may surprise.”

Mr Tangohau said the Trust wanted young people involved with kapa haka to have the skills necessary to refuse tobacco.

“This is a smokefree event. We want to be able to contribute towards creating a youth culture that does not support smoking.”

Organisers have received help from local smokefree coalition Taki Tahi Toa Mano in the creation of this year’s Tamararo Auahi Kore senior, primary, and junior competitions. Mr Tangohau said the Trust was appreciative of the auahi kore (smokefree) support.


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