It takes a lot of work and effort to get thirty kaumātua plus support whānau down to Wellington to participate in the two day Festival. But after a year of planning, weekly practice sessions and fine tuning, our kaumātua we able to put all their efforts into practice by getting up on stage and giving it all they had.
Nupere Ngawaka, kaumātua from Whananaki says, “We were a bit shaky to start off with, but it went off well. We changed a couple of our songs from what we practiced, but we came out trumps.”
“When I look at our group compared to some of the others, most of our people were way over seventy plus. We were acknowledged for our rōpū having so many in the “older bracket’, with our eldest at 87.”
“What I enjoyed most about the trip was how well our kuia performed. I really give them credit for pulling off a great performance. It is a big ask to get up on that stage, but I think they all did so well.”
Georgina Haika, kaumātua from Whangaruru says she really loved the trip. “All the people organising the event were kind to us and made sure we were well looked after. The whole festival was run in a beautiful spirit. We had some challenges down there before we performed, but it all fell into place and we were given feedback that we were like a well-oiled machine. It was just lovely.”
Gayle Wellington of the Ngātiwai Education Unit says, “We had a fantastic trip to Wellington again this year, it was just amazing. Our kaumātua are truly amazing, they have great energy and stamina. I just love seeing them perform, especially on a big stage such as this. We love having these kaumātua as a part of our education team, they are a corner stone of our unit.”
The rōpū has already begun focusing on fundraising for the 2019 Festival, with one idea being a concert which showcases the talents within Ngātiwai, with the Ngātiwai Kapa Haka Rōpu performing as the headline act! This idea is in the early stages of planning, but keep an eye out for an announcement for this to be held possibly in spring or early summer.
Ngātiwai Chairman, Haydn Edmonds, says “Seeing our kaumātua perform on the big stage at Te Papa in Wellington is an absolute highlight of the year for me. They have been part of two days of kaumātua kapa haka, where they participated with over 500 other kaumātua from around Aotearoa for the 2018 Matariki Celebrations. It makes me proud that we as a Board could support them once again to be part of this fantastic Festival.”
Nupere Ngawaka says, “After we finished our performance we felt so good and it sounded like the crowd were clapping the house down. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!”