A festival of kapa haka

Western Bay of Plenty students are showcasing their kapa haka talents as the second day of the Ra-Whakangahau Festival at Bethlehem School gets underway.

Primary and intermediate schools in the area from Katikati to Paengaroa are taking to the stage to perform in the two day festival.

Greenpark Primary girls perform in the Bethlehem kapa haka festival. Photos Bruce Barnard.

A total of 30 schools will perform 40 acts during the festival.

Bethlehem School principal Brian Field says the festival is an opportunity for schools to showcase the groups and talents of their children.

Parents and supporters wanting to see the performances will have parking available to them at the Bethlehem Town Centre, the car park closest to the school’s southern boundary.

Whare Kura o Mauao is also allowing cars to park on their playing field and will provide access to the pedestrian crossing opposite the school for people to get across Bethlehem Road safely, says Brian.

One parent, who watched the performances yesterday, says the groups are amazing and the children put all their effort into the performances.

Brookfield Primary backstage about to perform.

Greenpark Primary boys.



Posted on 05-01-2013 11:55 | By PLONKER

Just can not see the benefit of it all, looks lame to be to see all these desperate excuses for what is quite frankly offensive and some.


Posted on 04-01-2013 20:25 | By PLONKER

Yes, agreed and if the Haka was non Maori it would be racist and more, the PC brigade would tear it apart and ban it in an instant!

@ POCO &YOGI you got the Kiwi reaction right on the money

Posted on 04-01-2013 12:27 | By MINDER

This activity should be banned it pure arrogance in your face stuff that in the end engenders a violent streak in young people as they get older.If it wasn’t for our National sporting teams performing and endorsing hakas there would be zero credence given to it. So simply stop performing and it will die out hopefully and people will engage in more productive and user/viewer friendly pastimes eg. Poi Dancing which has a high degree of traditional skill.


Posted on 04-01-2013 11:22 | By YOGI

You are saying "Hapa Haka engenders courage, pride, knowledge, expertise, whanaungatanga that make young Maori reach personal achievement levels ..." I am not sure of what part of the planet you are on but when you look at the average achievements of young Maori the statistics dont support your flowery assessment in fact if there is a connection then clearly it is detimental and not positive to the future of Maoridom. Simply this is because the Haka is very aggressive thing and intend to be in your face to intimidate all others, how does this provide a social improvement? As I recollect one tribe was recently granted the Interlectual Property rights to the Haka so how possibly can this then be regarded as Maori tanga??

Get off the grass Dollie

Posted on 04-01-2013 09:46 | By POCO O POCO

This thing is basically a modern day invention and until last 20 years ago or so really only associated with the All Blacks .It is a confrontational and aggressive activity. It’s use has been so overdone most New Zealanders could not care less whether they ever saw another haka or not -in fact they would prefer not to see one.Hakas neither educational nor cultural.

Posted on 27-12-2012 18:43 | By Dollie

Hapa Haka engenders courage, pride, knowledge, expertise, whanaungatanga that make young Maori reach personal achievement levels and that can be applied to other areas of their learning. I attended with my two mokopuna who preschool at Montessori and I know that one day they will be doing the same thing with their school mates in front of their adoring whanau and friends. Sure, it wasn’t slick and classy like the adult performances on TV but those kids sang their hearts out and each did their very best to perform the skills they have learnt at their schools. Did you go around the back of the stage and see their nervousness while they waited to be called? It is a hugely important Maori cultural context that is part of a child’s education experience where all the values that exhibit Maoritanga are enshrined in such an event. And guess what? You don’t have to be Maori to experience it. It is open to all. There are many Pakeha who know this and their lives have become richer because of participating in such experiences.

Ignore Them

Posted on 13-12-2012 14:56 | By Billynz01

In internet life you always get people who are "TROLLS". By arguing with them you are only fueling their existance. These people you’ll always find comment on things in a very negative way because they feel tough behind their computors and clearly have no life. I would like to see a like or dislike button on this site so when these people comments reach a certain number of dislikes (like on youtube) the comment is removed. To all the children which I must add chose to participate and were from all races, what a lovely day it was to see you all smiling and enjoying yourselves. Well done to Bethlehem College and the organisers.


Posted on 12-12-2012 07:53 | By RORTSCAM

A prelude to aggressive and violent behaviour which our society needs less off not more.The over the top arrogant swaggering associated with this "pastime" is going nowhere and is further evidence of the dumbing down of NZ society.

@ Rascallers

Posted on 11-12-2012 09:24 | By Major Think

I am a non-maori and therefore do not have the same rights and privileges as the ’chosen race’. As an oppressed citizen of NZ, I feel no need to praise the "culture" (albeit recently made up )that racially discriminates against me and my family every day. From where I stand, Kapa Haka teaches aggression and violence; something that is getting out of control with too many people as it is. I have an opinion... as you do. I guess being an oppressed racially discriminated against kiwi, and you either one of the ’chosen race’ or one of their sychophants, I must be wrong eh?!


Posted on 10-12-2012 21:23 | By POCO O POCO

Kapa haka is a confrontational joke there is nothing pleasant about it as an activity as it incites violence and attitude problems. Most people you speak to are well and truly over hakas and wouldn’t grieve if they never saw another haka ever.!!


Posted on 09-12-2012 18:08 | By Rascallers

I was annoyed at you, now I’m just amused. I love nothing more than good hearty debate with educated people. Differing opinions are what make us such a vast and diverse country. What I object to are uneducated comments with no factual basis. As soon as you asked me to explain how Kapa Haka will help them be ready for their next phase of education and help get a job, I was amused, your opinion comes from a place of hatred not education otherwise you would not have had to ask at all. If you had ever had any involvement in Kapa Haka then you would never had asked such a riduculous question. I invite you to go along and watch what happens to children who are involved in Kapa Haka, then I challenge you to come back to me with the same opinion, I know you will not do either hence my ignorant comment. If you do not know, I would suggest you do not say.


Posted on 09-12-2012 10:41 | By Tarnz1321

Children who participate in extra-curricular activities such as Kapa Haka are more disciplined children, they are more understanding and tolerant of their peers, they are more aware of their physical world and more respectful children. Kapa Haka gives children from all walks of life the chance to participate in a culture that isn’t their own, and they are embraced whole-heartedly. If that isn’t helping to prepare them for the next phase in their education then what is? If you knew anything, you would know that a childs ability to interact socially with their peers is a key factor in the way that child learns. Kapa Haka is one of many tools that Schools all around the Bay are using to get these *in particular Māori * children - learning. Wake Up.

People these days.

Posted on 09-12-2012 10:35 | By asheykoria

You people that have bad opinions about our culture can get over yourselves! Kapa Haka is a just like any other optional activity schools provide. Kapa Haka builds confidence, and its a good time when we can express how proud we are to be Maori. We do NOT say irish dancing or that other stuff your nationality does is a waste of time, so who are you too say something like this. It was a fantastic event and im very proud of all the kids, and if you have nothing nice to say keep it to yourself otherwise wade in your irrelevant ignorance. I am a proud Maori, and because some people like you say dumb things like this, makes me even prouder!

Yo people

Posted on 08-12-2012 18:15 | By Mr bay

Calm down, its just like some people play soccer or rugby at school get over it.

@ Rascallers

Posted on 08-12-2012 15:55 | By Major Think

You don’t seem to approve of anyone else having an opinion differing to yours! I suggest you are the ignorant one. Are you denying that, especially Maori kids, are failing to learn how to read and write at Primary school? Just remind me how excellence in kapa haka will help them be ready for their next phase of education and help get a job. No need to call me ignorant just because I don’t have soft PC touchy feely thoughts towards kapa haka and the associated brainwashing that goes with it.


Posted on 08-12-2012 13:00 | By Rascallers

Hebgeebies and Major Think, I wonder, is it all events that are not directly related to classroom education that you are opposed to, or is this purely racial? Perhaps before you begin typing with your ignorant fingers you should question whether this is your view on drama, music festivals, choir, athletics cluster days, swimming cluster days etc etc. I wonder if you even have school aged children or if you are just a couple of internet trolls with nothing better to do but comment ignorantly on community events that bring people together. Go back to reading print in hardcopy, at least then the rest of us don’t have to read your ridiculous comments.

Heart warming

Posted on 08-12-2012 00:00 | By Tonia

This was a well run organized event which displayed the talent of many amazing children and an absolute credit to their schools definitely a not to be missed festival it was emotional and wonderful to see the community unite together to enjoy the best of best!! Well done to all the performers and Bethlehem School!


Posted on 07-12-2012 21:07 | By usandthem

i can’t believe that someone can be so ignorant as Hebegeebies.Kapa Haka is no different to kids playing sport,not every aspect of education is classroom based,kids need ’variety in their lives and it is great that they are taking an interest in their culture.There is an old saying that says"It is better to remain Quiet and thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"


Posted on 07-12-2012 20:42 | By Major Think

...meanwhile kids are leaving Primary Schools unable to spell their name or name a colour! This is just a division of the Maori propaganda department brainwashing kids at a young age. Another major contribution to the duncification of NZ.


Posted on 07-12-2012 20:11 | By mumof4

Its small minded people like you that causes the problems of todays society. Open your mind...

I wonder sometimes...

Posted on 07-12-2012 18:32 | By Tarnz1321

Where does it say anything about the Ra Whakangahau being an educational event? It is an opportunity for Schools throughout Tauranga to get together and give it a go. "Ra Whakangahau" literally means "Day of Entertainment" and if you were there to see the faces of the kids that performed and how proud their families, teachers & tutors were, then you’ll know that events like this significantly and positively contribute to the self-esteem of the children who participate. Any educator will tell you these attributes are key factors in engaging children. If you’re looking for something to blame the education system on... look at the Government that administrates it.

Hardly educational stuff

Posted on 07-12-2012 15:41 | By Hebegeebies

Frankly a waste of time and space and one of the reasons our education system is going down the gurgler.

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