They're experienced at performing around New Zealand, but for a group of Rotorua students, the chance to share their culture on stage in Japan is taking it to the next level.

Raukura kapa haka, made up of students from Rotorua Boys' High and Rotorua Girls' High Schools, will be travelling to Hokkaido as part of the upcoming Tuku Iho Living Legacy exhibition.

For student Manukau Whata, it feels like a dream come true.

"It's always been a dream of mine to travel overseas and show our Māori culture to the world.


"I am looking forward to meeting some of the Ainu people, the indigenous people of Hokkaido."

Part of the Tuko Iho Living Legacy exhibition heading to Japan and China this year. Photo / Supplied
Part of the Tuko Iho Living Legacy exhibition heading to Japan and China this year. Photo / Supplied

Jasmine Morrison agreed it was a great opportunity to share her culture with other parts of the world.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the reactions of people when we perform. One thing I'm also excited about is seeing how life is in Japan.

"I'm also curious to see if any aspects of their culture are similar to our Māori culture."

Atera Apirana said being part of the trip was an "unreal and humbling" feeling.

"The fact that I get to travel the world and share my culture with people is something no words can describe.

"Going on a trip like this, I get to represent my iwi, my hapū, my culture and most importantly, my whanau, I'm so honoured and thankful."

Raukura kapa haka director Jamus Webster said the group of 20 travelling for Tuku Iho were "incredibly excited" to be part of the event.


"An event like Tuku Iho gives students a real sense of pride in their culture, and shows the important place we have in the world."

Webster said alongside sharing their culture, the rangatahi group was also keen to learn more about the Japanese and Ainu cultures.

"This is about nurturing the next generation, teaching them how to conduct themselves and act as ambassadors on the world stage.

"By including rangatahi, the relationships formed will last much longer."