Dress rehearsal for kapa haka ‘a treat’

Inspiring . . . The Gore High School kapa haka group perform at Mataura School last week in preparation for Miharo Murihiku Polyfest which is being held at Stadium Southland this week. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Two kapa haka groups have performed their Miharo Murihiku Polyfest items for each other as a dress rehearsal for this week’s event in Invercargill.

The Gore High School kapa haka group travelled to Mataura School on Thursday for the performance.

Mataura School principal Susan Dennison said the pupils enjoyed the Gore High School performance.

‘‘It was such a treat.’’

The performance gave the Mataura pupils the opportunity to realise the next steps for them in life’s journey, Mrs Dennison said.

‘‘It’s the pathway of understanding that, although I think I am a big kid in this school, that I am going to move on to being a kid in another school and I’m going to be surrounded by other big kids.’’

It also gave the pupils role models to follow.

After watching the performance, one pupil told her he was going to start singing louder.

‘‘Then he told me the floor was vibrating when they performed the haka.’’

Watching a video could not compare to such a ‘‘rich’’ experience, she said.

Each of the school’s pieces has a ‘‘special whakapapa story back to us so we are feeling like we are in a really strong place this year’’.

One of the songs was given to the school by the Mataura Marae.

It was written by Ngati Porou composer Ngoi Pewhairangi and told the story of the East Coast people who migrated to Mataura to work in the meat processing plant in the town.

Gore High School teacher Sam Hadfield said the performance strengthened the link between the two schools.

‘‘It’s also a chance for three of our students to return back to their roots and show the young teina (younger brothers and sisters) coming through what they can be capable of achieving if they carry on.’’

Gore High performs tomorrow and Mataura School on Friday at Stadium Southland.

The event is being livestreamed.