Kapa haka group underway for 2021

11 Feb 2021

Over fruit and croissants, and bacon and eggs the College kapa haka group today sprang into life for 2021.

The Schola Cantorum and a few of the core of the original group harmonised impressively in waiata while at least 25 keen starters and their parents gathered in the Dining Hall for breakfast. The Bishop of Te Wai Pounamu (South Island and the Chatham Islands) Pihopa Richard Wallace welcomed everyone, especially guest and College kapa haka tutor, Te Huaki Puanaki. College Head of Biculturalism Bradley Shearer spoke in reo Māori, translating his words to explain how exciting the rebirth of the kapa haka group was after a very difficult year, the Covid situation proving so disruptive.

“I know we’re going to have a great year and really grow as a group.”

Te Huaki Puanaki, described as “a music lover and a haka person,” told the gathering he was privileged and honoured to be back at College tutoring the group, and thanked the parents for coming with their sons.

Dr Mike Field, who is in charge of the group, said College was making great gains in te reo Māori and it was fantastic to see the younger boys’ developing interest in kapa haka.

Three of them, Edward Foote and Ned McCrystal of Condell’s House and Hoani Togia of Somes House said they were fans already.

“We’ve always done it at primary school and intermediate,” said Edward.

“It’s fun and quite different from anything else you do. You always build up to something like a competition or performance,” he said.

“It’s quite like a team – everyone has to know exactly what they’re doing,” said Ned.

“The stomping is supposed to sound like a heartbeat, and if you’re out of time, it really shows,” said Edward.

The kapa haka group will practice every Thursday from 8.15–9.15am, the boys learning waiata, haka and moteatea.