Click here for video of the Kapa Haka roopū rehearsing!
More than 40 students have stepped forward to join the THS Kapa Haka roopū, which is returning after many years “to the delight of our students,” said teacher Rawinia McLean.
“The enthusiasm of our students is really, really high,” she said. “They are so keen and really happy.”
The Kapa Haka roopū, with the guidance of tutor and parent leader Jenny Tumai, will support school events and some community events with the intention of competing in the Hauraki Festival at the end of the third term. Many students have competed in the past (at their primary schools) while others will be learning and participating for the first time.
“There are so many pluses” for students in Kapa Haka, said Mrs McLean. This includes “building respect for self and others,” developing confidence, building identity, breaking down cultural stereotypes and gaining an understanding of Maori language through song and dance. Perhaps most important, she said, is the concept of whakawhanaungatanga and the related benefits of kinsmanship and connection. Students “gain unity” and the ability to work well collectively, she said.
The group will perform in a style that reflects Hauraki heritage.
Many thanks to teacher Rawinia McLean and tutor Jenny Tumai for their leadership in bringing Kapa Haka back to Thames High School, and kudos to the students who are stepping forward to participate. Look out to see the students in action at school events and in the community!