The Waitara Memorial Hall boomed with applause and shouts of approval as Witt's kapa haka group performed its final dress rehearsal before heading to the nationals tomorrow.
The group, currently eighth in the country, is the only team representing Taranaki in the competition being held in Rotorua.
Coach Tengaruru Wineera said the purpose of the dress rehearsal was not only to make final tweaks but to thank the local community.
"It's given us a chance to tidy up and change last minute things, and thank the people for supporting us."
He said he was happy with what the group had achieved on Saturday.
"They've spent six months learning these skills.
"Today is to give back to the community."
Group leader and Witt tutor Tony Pue said they were feeling good about the competition.
"We're looking forward to representing all the groups from Taranaki."
He said he wanted to give a shout out to the polytech for the support it had provided.
Witt chief executive Richard Handley was also heading up to Rotorua to support the group.
He believed the group was among the world's best.
"The Witt campus has been alive with kapa haka for the last few weeks.
"They are just amazing."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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