Crash girls say show goes on
The principal of Turakina Maori Girls' College says there was never any doubt in her mind that the school would compete at the national secondary schools' kapa haka competition.
The 33-member performance group took the stage yesterday - just two days after a bus crash on the way to the competition in Gisborne put 14 pupils in hospital.
Principal Terehina Channing said the girls received a strong reception from the audience and were waiting to hear tomorrow night whether they had done enough to make Friday's final.
"The girls have done themselves proud, done us proud, done the school proud, their whanau proud," Channing said.
The most serious injury in Sunday's crash was a broken leg suffered by a 14-year-old pupil. Channing said the girl went on stage in a wheelchair. She said the girls never wavered in their desire to perform. "The girls were very focused, they have been focused the past two days and in good spirits."
Had the injuries been more serious, Channing said their performance may have been cancelled. But once it was known all of the girls would be OK, they decided to take the stage.
Channing said she appreciated the support the group had received both from back home and from their hosts and competitors in Gisborne.
Sunday's crash happened about 3.30pm as the Turakina performers were travelling to Gisborne. Three adults, including the driver, and 14 pupils were taken to Gisborne Hospital.
Police said the bus, which had about 40 people on board, had left the road and crashed into a ditch before coming to a halt in a patch of dense bush and trees.
Channing said the pupils would travel home on Friday, with the only delay to their plans coming if they were selected to compete in that day's competition finals.