Kapa Haka performers from across the region will perform at Jubilee Stadium in Whanganui this weekend.
Following the cancellation of the Aotea Kapa Haka Regional Competitions in 2020 due to
Covid-19, Te Kāhui Maunga Incorporated is set to host Haka Tū, Haka Ora, a non-competitive kapa haka event.
Haka Tū, Haka Ora will feature 10 rōpū from across the Whanganui/Taranaki region who will take to the stage, showcasing their skill, passion and flair for Māori performing arts.
Each rōpu will perform a 30-minute bracket.
Māngai mō Aotea ki Te Matatini, Dr Rāwiri Tinirau, said everyone was looking forward to the opportunity to perform and to come together again.
"This is a great opportunity for our kapa haka to take the stage, our rōpū worked incredibly hard last year only to have the regionals cancelled a few days prior to the competition," Tinirau said.
While the event is non-competitive, four of the rōpū performing on the day, Te Reanga Morehu o Ratana, Ngā Purapura o te Taihauāuru, Te Matapihi and Aotea Ūtanganui, will represent the Aotea region at Te Matatini Herenga Waka, Herenga Tangata, the national kapa haka competition being held in Auckland in February 2022.
"While we have competitive kapa participating, the kaupapa for the day is to celebrate being who we are as Māori, with those rōpū taking the stage involving kaumātua and tamariki mokopuna – for us, this is the embodiment of being proud of who we are, our
culture and whakapapa," Tinirau said.
"To stand on the stage alongside your whānau and to give it everything you have, supported by your wider community, is an amazing feeling.
"You can feel the ihi, wehi and wana of the performers, you can see the emotional impact it has on the audience as the kapa take you on a journey through their bracket, with their voices, actions, movement, and kākahu. It's definitely a great kaupapa to be a part of."
The event will run from 9.30am until 4.30pm on Saturday, June 12, beginning with a whakatau for the large crowd expected to attend.
Kai and other stalls will be available on-site throughout the day, and the event is wai Māori (water) only, smoke-free and attendees are encouraged to use te reo Māori.
• The event is free of charge and open to all. Entrance to the venue on the day is via London St to assist with traffic management, and as parking is limited, attendees are encouraged to carpool where possible.