Best kapa haka performers battle it out

Maori song and haka boomed throughout the small rural Canterbury township of Lincoln today.

The best kapa haka performers in Te Waipounamu (South Island) competed at the Waitaha Senior Kapa Haka Competition, held at the Lincoln Event Centre.

Waitaha Cultural Council chairperson Ranui Ngarimu said there were 10 groups competing this year, nine from Canterbury and one group travelling from Dunedin, Te Taieri o Owheo.

"It's great to see so many teams competing this year. This is the first time we have so many groups compete at our regionals - it is very exciting.

"This year we opened the competition to all the regions in the Ngai Tahu takiwa and we are delighted that our whanau from Dunedin are able to travel up to Christchurch and be part of this event."

The groups were competing for three spots to represent Waitaha at the national senior kapa haka competition, Te Matatini, to be held in Rotorua from February 20-24, 2013.

"I would like to acknowledge all the teams and their families for all the hard work and effort they have put into their programme and practices over the past several months leading into this event."

Te Matatini was the world's largest celebration of Maori performing arts, showcasing Maori culture and talent and attracting upwards of 30,000 participants and spectators, he said.

Nga Pakihi Whakatekateka o Waitaha Cultural Council Trust, supported by the Christchurch City Council and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, would host the Te Matatini in Christchurch in 2015, she said.

The Press