Kapa Haka at Mount Maunganui College receives support

“Having a uniform that represents us and who we are is awesome. It will help to bring us together as a group, more united. There is mana in knowing you are wearing your own uniforms.”
Year 10 student, Mount Maunganui College

NZCT has awarded Mount Maunganui College a grant of $15,000 for Kapa Haka uniforms.

Assistant Principal Renee Draffin said “It is important to our students and our school community that the students can express their culture and identity as Māori. In the past, we have worn the uniforms of other schools or groups and the students have felt whakamā that they have not had their own uniforms to wear. We are proud of our students and we want them to stand tall and be proud of who they are and where they come from. Having their own uniforms that are unique to our school will raise their mana. We are very grateful for the grant towards our kapa haka uniforms.”

Mount Maunganui College has started to rebuild a kapa haka group over the past few years. Throughout this time, the group has not had their own uniforms to wear. We have had to borrow uniforms from the local adult kapa haka group or the local intermediate school.

We have started to see an increase in the number of students wanting to do kapa haka. This has been influenced by our school trialling a new Te Ao Haka programme that recognises the mahi of our students in kapa haka. Students can work towards NCEA credits for kapa haka in this class. It is a trial programme with NZQA and because of it, we have seen an increase in the number of students interested in participating in kapa haka at our kura. We are keen to enter into this year’s regional kapa haka competition.

The generous funding from NZCT means we have been able to order piupiu so that in the future, our students will be able to perform in their own kākahu. We want the students to stand with their own Mana Motuhake, being proud to be Māori, to represent to hāpori and whānau as well as their school.

“I reckon it will be cool when we get piupiu so we don’t have to borrow from other people. I think we will be able to do more dress rehearsals and wear them for more events. We will have a design for us and there is mana in that.”
Year 11 student, Mount Maunganui College

Having complete kapa haka uniforms will help to raise our Māori identity within the kura and increase student pride as they will be able to wear their own school colours and design on stage. They will be able to wear the kākahu during regionals and be proud that the uniforms belong to us and not borrowed from someone else. Having our own kapa haka uniforms will encourage other students who may be interested in kapa haka to join in. It will also mean that students will be able to wear the uniforms to perform during Matariki Whakanuia, prize givings, powhiri, and other events where their Māoritanaga can shine.

Having our own set of kākahu will not only benefit our kapa haka students, but also the entire school community. It is important that our students are seen and celebrated as Māori. When more of our Māori culture is seen, heard, and felt in a mainstream kura, we will be able to set a positive example of how treaty partners should coexist.

“Knowing we have our own uniforms brings us pride. We will be able to stand strong when we perform.”- Year 10 student.
Year 10 student, Mount Maunganui College