February 22, 2018
Kupe fest celebrated in haka
Wellington’s waterfront will this evening resound to a thousand-strong haka and a 250 member choir welcoming in a fleet of traditional ocean-going canoes.
The Waka Odyssey, which opens this year’s New Zealand Festival, is the creation of navigator Hoturoa Barlay-Kerr, designer Kasia Pohl and director Anna Marbrook.
It features the waka Haunui from Tamaki Makaurau Ngahiraka mai Tawhiti and Hinemoana from Tauranga, and Te Matau a Maui from Napier, as well as Gaualofa which has sailed down from Apia, Samoa.
Kura Moeahu from Te Atiawa and Taranaki Whanui composed the haka around the story of Kupe, who discovered the harbour during his chase of the giant octopus Te Wheke o Muturangi,.
"Moe ara ra kei nga tipua, Moe ara ra kei nga tawhito, awaken from your slumber oh ancients ones of yesteryear, and it actually talks about the creation of our harbour through the taniwha Ngake and Whataitai, so we see this waka hourua in the distance and Kawhaiwhaia i nga kawekawe in this pursuit of these tentacles out in middle of the Pacific in pursuit of this wheke," he says.
Kura Moeahu hopes Kupe Hautoa will have a life after A Waka Odyssey and become a haka for Wellington.
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