Japanese students visiting Whangārei Boys High school got a taste of Kiwi culture when they were asked to learn and perform the haka.

WBHS international director Vanita Lomas said the nine students from Otani High School in Osaka have been attending the school for the past two weeks as part of an international exchange programme.

The programme includes English learning, sport, Maori culture, and immersion in local classes to give the students "a total Kiwi school experience", she said.

The Japanese boys performed the school haka last week, and plan to perform it again when 12 Whangārei Boys students travel to their school in October 2020.

Advertisement
Visiting Japanese students learn Whangarei Boys High School Haka

"They really enjoy it, it's a highlight for them," Lomas said.

"The group we had last year did extremely well with it was well. The idea is when they go back to Japan, they can perform it there."

Friday was the students' last day at the school; the group were set to travel to Auckland on Saturday before returning to Osaka.

Whangārei Boys' High School welcomes between 10 and 15 international students every year from all around the world.

Japanese students were keen to learn the haka, which was a highlight for them. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Japanese students were keen to learn the haka, which was a highlight for them. Photo / Michael Cunningham

International students have the choice of staying at Carruth House, the school hostel, or with a New Zealand homestay family.

The Otani High School has sent its students to Northland several times, Lomas said, and is one of several international schools involved in long-term exchanges.

This year Otani High's principal, Hitoshi Iiyama, also visited New Zealand to sign the sister-school agreement on July 30, making the programme official.

Lomas said the boys were a "really neat bunch of students and keen to give everything a go ... They've made some really good friendships".

Advertisement