February 19, 2016
Gender battle over kids’ kapa haka
The door is open for an early review of a rule change that discourages boys from swinging the poi in the national secondary schools kapa haka competitions.
Waipareira leader John Tamihere, who has a son at Hato Paora College in Feilding, has threatened legal action over the change, which also bars girls from using mau rakau or traditional weapons in their performances.
But Willie Te Aho, who’s on the national committee organising this year’s competition, says the change was introduced because some single sex schools are trying to go it alone rather than teaming up with complementary girls or boys schools.
While the decision was unanimous, the committee will listen to feedback coming in to the regional coordinators.
"If we’ve got it wrong and the majority say we've got it wrong then we will review the rules. I think that's a door that's been opened by the chair Arihia Stirling to say, hey look we've got it wrong and that's the temperature of the country we'll make a change, but if it's still only one and one rohe then you have to say well 13 other rohe have made a decision," says Willie Te Aho.
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