Five Rotorua schools have made Te Arawa proud at Te Mana Kuratahi 2017 - The National Primary Kapa Haka Competition.

The schools, who qualified in the regional Te Arawa primary school kapa haka competition last year have spent the last week competing against more than 50 schools from around the country.

Organisers of the event said the students had behaved themselves and "made Te Arawa proud".

Teacher and tutor at Rotorua Intermediate School Merekara Gardiner said the kids had made a lifetime of memories.


After only just qualifying last year, Rotorua Intermediate placed seventh overall in the competition.

"We were buzzing, as the only mainstream school to place in the top ten," Gardiner said.

"Our whole program was dedicated to our deputy principal, who lost her husband the week before. Then our action song was dedicated to Te Ururoa Flavell."

Gardiner said the students wanted to thank him for all the work he had done for Maori and send him off to spend time with his wife and children.

"We're pretty stoked," she said.

"We will definitely be ready for regionals next year."

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Rotorua Primary School Principal John Naera went down to Gisborne to watch the students perform.

"It was amazing. Over the last month, the kids have just been improving and improving.

"The goal that we went in with, is that when they come off the stage they feel good about their performance."

Naera said as they came off the kids were just so excited.

"Everyone was so proud of them, all the tutors and whanau members that were there."

There was added pressure for the students of Te Wharekura o Ngati Rongomai who placed first in last year's regional competition.

Their tutor and guitarist Rakaea Te Rangi Trotman said it was a good experience for the kids to go down there.

"They went to do the job, and they didn't muck around.

"For us it wasn't about winning at all, but keeping alive the importance of our ancestors."

The school placed sixth out of the 57 schools.

Overall Winners
1st - Te Kura o Te Teko - Nga Taiohi
2nd - Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Waioweka
3rd - Te Kapa Hurutea o Horouta Wananga

Te Arawa results
2nd equal - Rotorua Intermediate
Waiata a-ringa
1st - Te Wharekura o Ngati Rongomai
1st - Rotorua Intermediate
3rd equal - Rotorua Intermediate
2nd - Rotorua Intermediate
Waiata Tira
2nd equal - Rotorua Intermediate
Titonga Hou - Waiata a-ringa
3rd equal - Rotorua Intermediate
1st equal - Te Wharekura o Ngāti Rongomai
3rd equal - Rotorua Intermediate
Kaitataki Tane
2nd - Rotorua Intermediate
3rd - Te Wharekura o Ngati Rongomai