Cultural feast at harmonious festival
A cultural festival which has been running for nearly three decades, brought Mangawhai Beach School [MBS] alive with a kapa haka celebration of music and dance on November 11.
The 26th annual Kaipara Cultural Festival is a non-competitive event featuring hundreds of students from 16 Northland, Rodney and Auckland schools.
Beginning at Helensville in 1992, the festival is hosted by a different school every year, with 2017 being MBS’s first time as host with basketball player Ray Cameron and Rongoa practitioner and kapa haka teacher, Te Puawai Connelly Richards, as Masters of Ceremony.
Each school was gifted a Kowhai tree and framed certificate as acknowledgement of participation, presented to the leader of each group by lead organisers of the festival, Kaumatua Pene Hita and Helensville Marae chairman Richard Nahi, who spent six months planning the event.
- WORDS/PICS/JULIA WADE
Photos: [photo 1 credit Emma Grieve, 2-9 Julia]
Mangawhai Beach School’s first year as hosts for the festival was a huge success including a stellar performance by the schools junior and senior kapa haka. - PHOTO/Emma Grieve
Even though 2017 was their first appearance, Kaiwaka’s juniors were certainly not stage shy and revealed plenty of warrior spirit and passion.
Paparoa girls and boy’s performance was a mixture of sweet solo songs, delightful group harmonies and displays of cultural skills.
Rodney College’s five performers proved numbers make little difference when giving a dazzling performance, the girl’s energy and talent in both melody and dance invigorating the crowd who were induced to participate.
Seven-year-old Stella Te Haara proudly accepted the participation certificate on behalf of her group, the Wellsford juniors, after their heartwarming show of harmonious songs.
Students from Mahurangi College gave a strong and fiery performance with traditional Maori weaponry, the taiaha (fighting staff).