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Students dazzle at All Blacks match to celebrate Matariki

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Those attending the All Blacks vs South Africa rugby match recently at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, were wowed by the students of Huapai District School as they performed their Matariki dance during the half-time show.

The dance was a part of this year’s New Zealand Dance Challenge, a dance programme for primary and intermediate schools that aims to provide a fun platform for students to learn, perform, and share a dance routine with other schools throughout New Zealand. This year, the challenge celebrated Matariki, and the New Zealand Rugby Union were only too keen to give the students a platform to commemorate this special time of year through their dance.

Matariki is a very special occasion for the Māori and wider New Zealand community. It marks the rise of the Matariki stars and heralds the beginning of the Māori New Year. It is a time for reflection, new beginnings, and coming together with loved ones.

The dance routine performed by the students beautifully encapsulated the essence of this meaningful celebration, making it even more heartwarming and special. Through their performance, the students not only showcased their incredible talent but also their appreciation for Māori culture and traditions. It was a truly unforgettable moment of cultural expression and unity.

We applaud the Huapai District School students for their remarkable achievement and for being outstanding representatives of their school and community. This experience will undoubtedly inspire other young dancers to follow their passions, work hard, and celebrate the richness of New Zealand’s cultural heritage.

To learn more about the New Zealand Dance Challenge please visit their website at

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