Kapahaka (Maori Performance Art)

The Maori culture is something that we at Kenakena celebrate. We believe it should be experienced and cherished from reception to senior school, which is why we give children right through our school the opportunity to learn Kapahaka.

For one day per week, teacher Rangi Halbert works with each teaching team in the school to teach Kapahaka and to also tutor the school’s Kapahaka Group. Kapahaka is a fun way to experience the indigenous cultural heritage of Aotearoa– New Zealand and to learn aspects of Te Reo Maori (Maori language).

Our formal Kapahaka Group caters for children from Years 5 to 8, and a few very motivated Year 4’s. The group meets for 30 minutes each week and for two full-day practices each term to learn the songs and actions of Kapahaka. The group’s repertoire includes Kapahaka classics and some contemporary works composed by Rangi. Some of those works reflect modern ‘pop’ classics that the kids find enjoyable and motivating.

The Kapahaka Group leads the school at powhiri (formal Maori welcome ceremonies), performs for special occasions and for visiting groups. The group also goes out of the school to perform for organisations such as retirement villages and pre-schools. The major event for the year is the Takiri o-te-ata Otaki-Kapiti School’s Kapahaka Festival.

The combination of formal Kapahaka and school-wide lessons gives our school a repertoire of action songs that the whole school can perform with confidence.