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Primary school kapa haka contest Te Mana Kuratahi

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Nelson, a picturesque city in the South Island of New Zealand, is buzzing with vibrant energy as it hosts the country’s largest primary school kapa haka competition, Te Mana Kuratahi. This spectacular event marks the first time it has graced the South Island and has attracted 45 teams from all corners of New Zealand, spanning from Kawakawa to Ōtautahi. These young talents have gathered in Nelson to showcase their skills, culture, and spirit over four exhilarating days of competition.

In this grand event, 26 esteemed judges are diligently evaluating the performances, with these young stars representing their schools and regions. These performances extend beyond mere cultural expression; they symbolize months of hard work, dedication, and fundraising to make it to this prestigious stage.

What makes this event even more remarkable is the support it receives from the Te Tauihu o te Waka a Maui Māori Cultural Council and the eight iwi (tribes) that call the top of the South Island home. They are acting as gracious hosts to over 40 teams that have traveled from far-flung places such as Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman, and Golden Bay to participate.

For two decades, Te Mana Kuratahi has been a symbol of Māori culture and talent, showcasing the incredible abilities of the nation’s young performers. The commitment, cultural pride, and enthusiasm of these students and their communities are truly commendable. While the focus of this event is on competition, it is also about fostering a deeper appreciation for New Zealand’s rich Māori heritage and the significance of this cultural tradition.

As the competitions continue to unfold in Nelson, we eagerly await to see who will earn the coveted top honors. It’s a celebration of New Zealand’s heritage and a testament to the power of youth when they come together to embrace their culture and traditions.

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