Maori performing arts on show
Organisers of the annual Maori Performing Arts Festival, Taiopenga, have had to stretch the event over two days after twice as many kapa haka groups entered this year.
The Marlborough festival, which is being held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Clubs of Marlborough in Blenheim, features performances by 36 kapa haka groups from kohanga reo, early childhood learning centres, primary schools and colleges.
Festival co-organiser Allyson Court said this year's event had to be held over two days instead of one because of the large number of entries.
This was partly due to the "great stuff" happening with kapa haka at Marlborough schools, she said.
"The aim of the festival is to celebrate and develop," Ms Court said.
"It's all about celebration, it's all about motivation - and it's a chance for schools to show what they've been doing all year.
"If we didn't have this festival, we wouldn't have the opportunity to see what everyone is doing."
Ms Court is a member of Marlborough's Maori branch of the New Zealand Education Institute, Aronui Tomua, which will also be performing at the festival.
Festival co-organiser Margy Crosby said the festival brought together a multitude of skills such as rhythm, language, fitness and poi: "But what's more important is the kids just love it."
The Marlborough Express