Nearly 4000 students and their supporters will descend on Pettigrew Green Arena over four days this month, as the “massive” Secondary School Kapa Haka Nationals 2016 start on July 25.
It is the first time the two-yearly nationals have been held in Hawke’s Bay and the organising effort has been immense, from arranging accommodation and setting up competition rounds, to putting a zero-waste policy into practice and managing food vendors, says co-organiser and Te Reo teacher Tūhoe Huata. The hero of the week will be the kapa haka competition; with 39 secondary schools sending their top teams from across Aotearoa. The southernmost entry comes from Otago and the northernmost from Kaitaia.
Hawke’s Bay has three entries: Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga/Ruataniwha/Tamatea, Te Aute College and Hastings Boy High School.
Each team is made up of 40 competitors, with their supporters likely to take the numbers up to 100 per school.
They will compete in three pools over the first three days, all looking to be in the final nine. Those nine teams will compete on the last day for the top award.
The competition is being organised by the Hawke’s Bay Māori Teachers Association.
A decision was made early on to give the Hawke’s Bay competition a title that is unique to the region: “Te Haaro te Kaahu”. That is an old Ngāti Kahungunu proverb, says Mr Huata, which our committee has termed: “Exquisiteness seen through the eyes of the hawk”.
Early on it was decided that the event would also promote zero waste and healthy food philosophies.
“We want to help educate our people on the importance of both. We talk about looking after the environment; by having a zero waste programme at the event we are making sure we act on it.
“On the health side, we decided that vendors would need to commit to recycling and having health food options, especially around serving alternatives to fizzy drinks and using the healthiest oil possible for fried foods. There were 100 food vendors lined up wanting to be part of the event, so we went back with our requests and chose those who could fit with our criteria.”
4 October 2017
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