A Hakapella performance kept Christmas shoppers in Whangarei's central mall upbeat on Thursday and yesterday morning.

Appreciative spectators gathered around as members of the extended Maunsell whanau sang and danced to a blend of contemporary Christmas and traditional Maori songs, given a special a capella touch.

Some of the Hakapella group were toddlers, others ranged in age from 4 to 40s.

Early childhood kapa haka teacher Kylie Maunsell said most of the family, who hailed from Kawakawa, were performers and teachers.


As well as bringing their lovely gift to showcase their talents and spread Christmas joy, the street show provided valuable, positive performance experience for the children.

But, Ms Maunsell said, the main aim of Hakapella's Christmas busking sessions was to raise money for the large family's traditional summer camp ''up North''.

''There are so many of us who come to our whanau camp, it's really important for us to raise funds and do what we can to make it easier for everyone to get there.''