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Kapa haka festival boasts over 400 performers

Sep 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Latest News, News

THE audience at St Brigid’s Kapa Haka Festival on Saturday filled up the aisles and crowded round the doors.

Parents and supporters were entertained by more than 400 students at Newlands Intermediate’s school hall.

The students came from 12 schools in the northern suburbs and for many, it was their first time performing in front of an audience.

HAKA LEADER: Jayell Bain leading the Newlands Intermediate haka.

The event was organised by Otari School’s St Brigid’s committee, which hosted the festival this year.

“It’s awesome to see this tradition continuing and to see so many rangitahi singing and dancing and helping the language and traditions thrive,” says Otari School parent Charles Dawson.

The founder Wayne Firmin says he set the festival up to showcase the kids in the area and to bring all cultures together.

“We got so many different cultures here all for one purpose, coming to see their kids perform kapa haka.”

Hosting rights, along with the ceremonial mauri, have been passed to Newlands College for next year’s festival.

The mauri was carved by Maori advocate Eugene Ryder, and is in the shape of a bible to represent the St Brigid’s Kapa Haka Festival.

Schools have a plaque added to the inside of the mauri after hosting the festival each year.

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