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National Kapa Haka Competition Opened


Opening of the National Secondary School Kapa Haka Competition 2002, Christchurch

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the standard at the National Secondary School Kapa Haka Competitions was outstanding.

The Kapa Haka Competition was held in Christchurch over the weekend, following the completion of National Secondary School Manu Korero (Speech) Competitions.

“I was overwhelmed by the quality of the schools competing from around the country. I know the hours of practice and training that go into developing and fine-tuning their performances. The competition within the regions alone is characterised by the high quality of the numerous teams competing for a place at Nationals.

“I was also pleased to see the level of support that the teams had, with their whanau, both young and old, there to assist them and watch the performances

“The positive impact this has on our rangatahi is obvious especially when you look in their faces, see their confidence and the passion with which they explain the importance of kapa haka and the competition.

“There is an ongoing discussion of the role of both traditional and contemporary kapa haka. I believe with proper acknowledgement there is room for both to exist together. We must never forget that which was handed down to us. Let us also welcome the new creativity.

“There has been discussion about the inclusion of Kapa Haka in the NCEA. I don’t believe the critics of this positive development, have attended this competition either regionally or nationally. They have no appreciation of the skill or valued to our rangatahi involved.

“My lasting impression was of a young Mäori generation, full of energy, enthusiasm, strong in their identity, ready and willing to take on the world, who deserve our full support,” Parekura Horomia said.

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