10 Nov Te Tai o Pakuranga Awarded at Te Ahurea Tino Rangatiratanga
The Pakuranga College Kapa Haka rōpu, Te Tai o Pakuranga, is on a mission to bring East Auckland’s Māori culture to the fore, and they started by competing in the prestigious Te Ahurea Tino Rangatiratanga competition for the first time on Saturday 29 October.
The competition brings together the best Kapa Haka kura in Aotearoa, with the college up against schools ranked second and third in the nation within their Tāmaki Makaurau heat.
Michael Long, Pakuranga College Head Student in 2021 and Kapa Haka tutor, says, “East Auckland isn’t traditionally well-known for its Māori culture, so we wanted to participate primarily to showcase that culture. But we also wanted to challenge ourselves against the best Kapa Haka kura, so we can experience that level of excellence and bring that inspiration back to our school.”
The group’s 28 performers practiced 15 hours a week for months in the lead-up to the competition, where they performed seven numbers in stunning new korowai by Korowai Designs. Te Tai o Pakuranga competed very well, winning the Best Dressed School and Best Attitude awards in the Tāmaki Makaurau heat.
Co-Lead Kapa Haka tutor, Jacob Ripley, said it was a huge occasion for everyone involved. “There were some tears before taking the stage. That feeling that we’d actually done it, we were here as the first rōpu from Pakuranga College after 12 months of planning and intense preparation. I’m incredibly proud of our rangatahi and seeing them enjoy the performance definitely helped settle the nerves.”
Current Head Student and Kapa Haka kaitātaki wāhine (female leader), Kayla Ngaropo, said, “The experience was invaluable for our students, and I can’t wait to see how they apply it to Kapa Haka next year. We were especially pleased to win the award for Best Attitude. That absolutely shows the mana this rōpu has.
Moemoetia te moemoea, engari whakatinanahia. Dream the dream, but achieve it as well – let it become reality.