July 20, 2021
Raw performances in prison kapa haka
The performances are over and now prisons around the country are waiting to find out if their roopu has won the inter-prison Whakataetae Kapa Haka competition.
Tutor and judge Tapeta Wehi say it’s been an eye-opener for many, as it’s the first time some inmates have been able to participate in their Māori culture.
He says haka is a powerful tool and offers chances for them to reconnect and find out more about their roots and identity.
With only three months to prepare, some of the teams at the16 prisons were still raw.
"The ihi was there, the tapu. They're out of time, a little bit unco, but it's all there. If it was a Matatini competition they would probably get caned. We went in there when we judged not being too hard on them and giving them encouragement but there definitely are a few teams in there that would go pretty good in a regional competition," he says.
Tapeta Wehi says the points are still being tallied, but he’s looking forward to presenting the prizes.
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