Whangarei reign supreme

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Whangarei-Mai-Tawhiti once again triumph at Auckland's Kapa Haka Super 12s.
Whangarei-Mai-Tawhiti once again triumph at Auckland's Kapa Haka Super 12s.

Whangarei's seemingly unbeatable kapa haka team have taken out the Super 12 Championship for the fifth year in a row with another innovative act.

Whangarei-Mai-Tawhiti is becoming renowned for their contemporary style, with this year's piece featuring everything from hula-hoop piupiu and white helium balloons as poi, through to kitchen brooms used as taiaha.

On Saturday, they again took out the top $12,000 prize at Auckland's Te Wnanga o Aotearoa Kapa Haka Super 12s, in which 12 teams compete for 12 minutes apiece.

Traditionally seven elements are required in a kapa haka competition, where in this modern version there are just three: poi, action songs and haka.

Other changes to the usual kapa haka format include a shorter duration and fewer members in each group.

Teams are given creative licence to produce a high energy performance based on their own interpretation of traditional Maori performing arts.

The event was run by Auckland Council and arts committee chairman Alf Filipaina said the contest was one of the highlights of the Matariki Festival.

"Teams displayed an impressive level of talent, enthusiasm and energy and were able to showcase traditional art of kapa haka and Maori culture in a fresh, creative and innovative way."

- Northern Advocate

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