The principal of a school which came first in a Northland kapa haka competition says it was "awesome" to see the range of schools who had entered this year.
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rawhitiroa's Takawenga (Year 6 to Year 8) kapa haka group came first in the Te Tai Tokerau Regional Primary and Intermediate Kapa Haka Competition held at Kaitaia's Te Rangi Aniwaniwa on Saturday.
Evelyn Henare, tumuaki (principal) of the school, said the kura also had a primary school-aged group (Year 3 to Year 5) performing and said it was "awesome" to watch the two groups from her school perform as well as the other schools.
"It was just so awesome to see the schools perform, some of them for the first time like Hora Hora. Whangarei Intermediate entered two groups, Whau Valley, Manaia View - from me, I give a big mihi to them," she said.
Ms Henare said kapa haka groups from TKKM o Te Rawhiti Roa had been preparing for the regional competition since the beginning of the year.
"They have to be well disciplined, they have to commit, it's an all-round thing. We have a strong foundation in the kura," she said.
She said watching both groups perform, and then seeing the intermediate group win, made her "so proud".
"They love [kapa haka], they love it. You can see them banging around the school. To see the pride, to see them fully dressed and you think 'gosh, how beautiful'. They stand up and represent their school and it gives them pride and self confidence," she said.
The school will represent Northland at the National Primary and Intermediate Kapa Haka competition in Gisborne next year.
The other five groups representing the region are Whangarei Intermediate School, Te Rangi Aniwaniwa's Nga Mahuri, Te Kapehu Whetu Paenuku and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Pukemiro.