Published: Wednesday, 22 February 2023 | Rāapa, 22 Huitanguru, 2023
Born into Kapa Haka - Puahaere Vaka, Senior Advisor Waikato-Waiariki, Regional Partnerships and Operations
Ko Taupiri, Maungahaumi me Tiheia ngā maunga
Ko Waikato, Waipoua, me Te Waimimi o Pekehaua ngā awa
Ko Tainui, Horouta, me Te Arawa ngā waka
Ko Waikato, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Ngati Rangiwewehi ngā iwi.
Ko Ngati Mahuta me Ngā Potiki o Te Whanau a Taupara ngā hapu.
Ko Waahi Paa, Tapuihikitia me Tarimano ngā marae.
I was born into a Kapa Haka whanau, my parents are both performers, tutors, and former champions of Kapa Haka. I would say that I came out of the womb with a poi in my hand. My parents have always been my mentors in Kapa Haka, but through their relationships I have been fortunate enough to be around the best-of-the-best during my lifetime.
Te Matatini is seen as playing a very important role within Maoridom in promoting the tikanga of the Māori culture and Kapa Haka. It provides a valuable experience for the people of New Zealand and others from all around the world, with the festival attracting up to 30,000 participants and spectators.
Our group, Te Hekenga a Rangi from Te Arawa, have been practicing since August to prepare for this Te Matatini as Kapa. Personally, I have just tried to keep up my fitness in order to help me to perform at my best on the day.
The Rotorua Weekender has also published a story about Puahaere and her life skills learned in ao haka – te reo Māori version, English version.