Kaimahi on stage, in front and behind the scenes #3

Performing from a young age - Tipene James, Rotorua Advisor Waikato-Waiariki, Regional Partnerships and Operations

Published: Rāpare, 23 Huitanguru, 2023 | Thursday, 23 February 2023

Ngongotaha te maunga
Utuhina te awa
Paratehoata Te Kohea, Te Papa-i-Ōuru me Te Koutu ngā marae.
Te Rotorua nui a Kahumatamoemoe te roto
Ngā koromatua e ono o Ngāti Whakaue ngā hapu
Ngāti Whakaue te iwi
Te Arawa te waka
Te Amohau, Pango me Arawhata ngā whānau.

I have been performing from a young age with my whānau in Rotorua. I was raised within it with haka pōwhiri, and concerts and in school, so it was a common kaupapa for my whānau and for wider Rotorua.

My biggest mentor is my mother Lauren James. However I have had many kaiako, but the one who taught me from a young age was my uncle Richard Wharerahi.

A big commitment is needed to be ready for competition. We have been practising weekends from 10am to 5pm for the last five months. We need to be prepared mentally and physically so my main kaupapa is to be Haka Fit. It’s also a costly passion requiring fundraising and a lot of support from our whānau and iwi.

I’ve been getting great support from our Waikato-Waiariki regional kaimahi and colleagues and I thank them all.

I will be performing for Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue - our group from within the Te Arawa rohe. At Te Matatini this year, I want to show the mana motuhake of my Iwi, of Ngāti Whakaue. Otherwise, the goal is similar too other groups which will be to make top 12 and win the Duncan Maclntyre trophy.

Good luck to everyone competing.


Image: International Performance – Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia – Tahitian Polynesian Heiva Festival, June 2022