Wairarapa Ki Uta Ki Tai

Taking kapa haka to the next level.

The Wairarapa Kapa Haka Academy was established in 2015 to take kapa haka in the region to the next level. Its vision is to inspire young people to strengthen kapa haka in the region’s secondary schools, and raise the self-esteem and mana of young people from the skills and relationships developed through kapa haka.

Over three days during the April school holidays in 2015, Wairarapa REAP hosted the inaugural Kapa Haka Academy, with 43 students from seven Wairarapa secondary schools. The Academy attracted high calibre local and national tutors in Patu, Poi, Mau Rakau, Haka, voice and choral production, leadership and goal setting, advanced Maori movement and composition.

Following the success of the Academy, every Academy student was encouraged to work with their teachers to form or strengthen the kapa haka group at their school to perform at the Wairarapa REAP Kapa Haka Festival on 22 October 2015.

A core of the Academy students went on to form Wairarapa Ki Uta Ki Tai, Wairarapa’s regional secondary school kapa haka group. They will perform at the regional kapa haka competition in Upper Hutt on 26 June 2015, vying for one of two opportunities to represent the region at the Nationals in 2016. The Wairarapa has had no regional representation in kapa haka at this level for almost five years. Wairarapa Ki Uta Ki Tai is tutored by Shari Taylor and Lily Arahanga with whanau support.

The grant funding from Trust House helped Wairarapa REAP and their partners make the Kapa Haka Academy a reality in support of their vision for youth and Maori achievement in the region.

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