Tineka from Katikati makes her stamp on NZ

By Betty Jeeves

A face familiar to Katikati is gracing the newly released $1.20 New Zealand Post stamp - Tineka Wanakore-Eruera.
Capturing the cultural tradition of kapa haka, it is one of a set of stamps officially launched by Prime Minister John Key at the Te Matatini Festival held in Gisborne this month.
The stamps feature five teams that achieved excellence at the Te Matatini Festival in 2009 and illustrate six aspects of kapa haka.
Widely regarded as the premier Maori cultural performing arts festival, the biennial event sees the country's most elite kapa haka performers competing.
The stamp Tineka appears on shows waiata-a-ringa - actionsongs where the hands, face, eyes and body combine to bring form to the words.
Katikati identities Kerewai and Paeahi Wanakore whangaied (informally adopted) their granddaughter, now 38, and Kerewai says Tineka enjoyed Brownies, St John and kapa haka from the age of six.
She attended Katikati Primary School and Katikati College, before heading to the University of Waikato to complete a degree in business.
Tineka now works at the university as a project and resource assistant within the Pro Vice-Chancellor Maori Office.
In her youth she was a member of Tauranga groups He Toa Takitini and Ngati Ranginui Kapa Haka, which performed locally, regionally and overseas.
As an adult she joined Te Whanau o Rangimarie in Hamilton and performances with that group once again took her to the international stage.
Now living with her husband Ngairo and children in Hamilton, Tineka says, "I have a passion for the art form of kapa haka because it allows me to express my love for being Maori."
Currently a member of Te Iti Kahurangi of the Tainui region, Tineka says although her image has been used on the stamp, "it is in recognition of Te Iti Kahurangi's first placing in Waiata-a-ringa at Te Matatini in 2009".


Te Iti Kahurangi's mission statement "Whaia te iti kahurangi" (the never-ending pursuit of the dream and the unquenchable thirst for excellence) is about achieving whatever you desire and focusing on the goals rather than the obstacles.
Kerewai says her granddaughter is a role model for the rest of our children coming through.
"It's a great achievement for her to have been selected as the face for the stamp."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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