Te Mana Kuratahi

Celebrating Primary School Kapa Haka in Whakatū

Te Mana Kuratahi

Whakatū (Nelson) extended a warm welcome to hundreds of visiting performers at the pōwhiri, marking the beginning of Te Mana Kuratahi, the national primary schools kapa haka competition.

The four-day competition, starting at Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre on Monday, features 45 primary school kapa haka groups from Kawakawa in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) to Otautahi (Christchurch).

During the pōwhiri on Sunday, students from Nelson and Tasman schools performed on stage as local iwi women performed the ceremonial welcome call for students and their support teams. Speakers from Te Tauihu iwi welcomed the visitors with a blend of customary greetings and humour.

Primary school kapa haka competitors filled the stands at the Trafalgar Centre for the pōwhiri event of Te Mana Kuratahi.

Competition Overview

The competition kicks off at 8.45 am on Monday. Thousands of hours spent learning kupu, actions, formations, melodies, and mastering traditional Māori weaponry skills will culminate in a single performance evaluated by 26 judges. Each school has up to 25 minutes to perform six or seven items, including waiata tira (optional), whakaeke, waiata tawhito, waiata ā ringa, poi, haka, and whakawātea. Awards are also presented for the best waiata tira, costuming, male and female leaders, whaikōrero, karanga, and original composition.

Toa Whakaihuwaka Title

The title of Toa Whakaihuwaka for the winning group will be announced on Thursday. This competition, usually biennial, is being staged for the first time in four years due to Covid disruptions.

Whakaata Māori will broadcast the competition for a wider audience.

This information was sourced and rewritten from an article on Stuff.co.nz


PC1 – Te Mana Kuratahi, photo from Pinterest