Ruapotaka Marae’s kapa haka group has been invited to tour a series of folk festivals in Europe next month.
International Council of Organisations of Folklore Festivals, an advisory council to the United Nations on indigenous cultures invited the kapa haka group which will be performing in Madrid, the Canary Islands, Rome and Venice.
Compared to other kapa haka groups, this one has only been performing together for the last five years. They initially formed as a way to maintain and enhance their tikanga Māori. ”Our objective was learning and teaching in a whanau positive environment” says the group co-ordinator Georgie Thompson.
The kapa haka group is made up of a people with various age ranges and experiences. The youngest performer is 5 years old and the eldest is 59 years old.
The group has managed to raise the funds needed to travel by fundraising with sausage sizzles, hangis and performances.
This will be the third time the kapa haka has performed overseas after also performing in Rarotonga and at a cultural festival in Hawaii in 2010. ”It will be great to be able to experience the world outside of Glen Innes”, says Ms Thompson.
Ms Thompson would like to acknowledge and thank the Glen Innes community for their continued support for the kapa haka group.