This one's for Violet

'A beautiful tribute'

Last updated 16:00 09/04/2014
Mahia Brown
JAMES ALLAN/SUPPLIED
Mahia Brown at the final dress rehearsal before the Wakatipu-based Te Iti O Tahuna compete in the regional competitions this weekend.

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The first Wakatipu-based kapa haka group to compete in regional competitions will perform a special tribute to a toddler who drowned in Lake Wakatipu last year.

Violet Waples was only two when she crawled through a gap in the fence and wandered away from her family's Kelvin Heights home in August.

About 30 minutes later she was found in the lake.

Her mother, Alana, asked the newly established group Te Iti O Tahuna to perform at Violet's funeral.

The group was later inspired to compose something special and performed the kapa haka on Waitangi Day this year.

''It's a beautiful tribute,'' Alana said.

Kapa haka group spokeswoman Mahia Brown said the performance was one of seven the group would put together for their 30 minute slot.

''It's about losing someone before their time.''

The community-based kapa haka group had pulled together a performance group after they learned the Wai Taha regional competition would be held in Christchurch this weekend, followed by nationals at the same venue for the three top-placed teams next year.

There were almost 30 members.

''Some of us are from the high school, some have been local Maori for ages, some work at Kiwi Haka and some travel from Dunedin to come to our group.''

The last few months have been spent fundraising and practising every weekend.

''We're all amped,'' Brown said.

They would compete against 10 other teams for the top three places and a spot in the national finals where 50 teams from around New Zealand would perform.

It was hoped more interest would be generated and an Otago-Southland regional competition could be organised in future.

 

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