Grant covers new kapa haka outfits

By Genevieve Helliwell

Students at Tauranga's Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepou shone on stage at the national primary schools kapa haka competition in Whangarei.

The school received an $8200 grant from the Mazda Foundation which allowed the school to buy new uniforms ahead of last month's competition. Their previous uniforms were more than 30 years old.

Secretary of the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepou board of trustees Seilena Phillips-Edwards said the new kapa haka uniforms enabled the tamariki to perform "to the best of their abilities".

"The competition is a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn responsibility and self pride by representing the school at a national level," she said.

The new kapa haka uniforms included heru, mako and bone earrings, ta moko templates, maro, tatua, bodices and headbands for all students involved.

The Te Mana Kuratahi Kapahaka competition included more than 30 schools from around the country.

The Tauranga students' uniform grant was one of 17 grants given to community organisations, schools and individuals nationwide in the latest round of funding from the Mazda Foundation.

The total amount donated was almost $54,000.

Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, Andrew Clearwater, said it was wonderful to have the opportunity to assist so many New Zealand children and community organisations.

"We feel very privileged to be able to help these kids in the challenges they face.

"The stories of courage and tenacity which we have heard from children and educators through this funding round have been inspiring."

The Mazda Foundation was established in 2005 to provide assistance to environmental, educational, skills development, cultural and community projects.

Applications for the next round of grants from the Mazda Foundation close on March 31, 2012.

For more information or to download an application form, visit

- Bay of Plenty Times

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