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Te Matatini offers trip of a lifetime for Wairarapa group

Te Matatini offers trip of a lifetime for Wairarapa group

21 February 2019

Their ultimate goal is to perform on the world’s biggest and most prestigious kapa haka stage.

And for Wairarapa group Te Roopu Manaaki, they’ll be one step closer by scoping out the national competition at this year’s highly anticipated Te Matatini event in Wellington.

Te Matatini Chief Executive Carl Ross has kindly gifted the roopu 23 tickets to Friday’s performances.

Last December, Te Roopu Manaaki performed alongside 15 other teams at the inaugural Te Anga Paua o Aotearoa National Kapa Haka Festival in Hamilton.

The event brought together more than 300 performers with intellectual disabilities, to showcase various kapa haka and waiata that were native to their hometowns.

Kaitātaki wahine (female leader) Faith Konia says she hopes attending Te Matatini will allow people with intellectual disabilities to be more visible.

"The diversity of disability is out there. We shouldn't be in the shadows so I hope disability gets more out there," says Faith.

“I feel when I perform on stage I don’t have a disability – I feel free like any other kapa haka performer.

“To see people with disabilities on Matatini stage would be awesome and a privilege.”

IDEA Services Kaitakawaenga (Senior Māori Advisor) Taki Peeke says it doesn’t matter what ability a kapa haka performer has – the passion and commitment transcends across all who do kapa haka.

For kaitātaki tāne (male leader) Caleb McNamara, he says it would mean the world to him to one day perform at Te Matatini.

Caleb says it’s an opportunity to show that despite being discriminated and put down by society, they are standing tall to tell their story.

“We decided that we wanted to have a voice and speak up for others like us,” says Caleb.

“We are one nation, we are one family, and that’s how I look at it with our group. We are diverse and we stand together, stand tall and stand proud.”

ENDS

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