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Local Groups & Clubs

Hangi served with Kapa Haka at the Whiti Citi Markets

The Kapa Haka students at Mercury Bay Area School prepared 140 complete hangi meals for sale at the Whiti Citi Markets in Soldiers Memorial Park, Whitianga last Saturday. This was not just an ordinary takeaway container. People received three containers – a tray of steam cooked meat and veges, an entrée of fish in delectable sauce, dessert and two fried bread rolls in a packet, all traditional but with their own contemporary additions.
 |  Pauline Stewart  | 

Whaea Jo amidst students and preparations outside Puahape Whare for the Hangi and Kapa Haka Fundraiser; peeling potatoes, pumpkin, kumara and cleaning up were the order of the day; the keen Hangi serving team at markets and a big part of the Kapa Haka performance group.

The students had been working the two days before the markets peeling, cutting, working the bread dough, preparing dessert, and carefully packing.

There were close to 50 young people, ages 11 (year 7) to sixteen (year 13), working in teams throughout the Friday under the watchful eye and involvement of their teachers and volunteer parents. They did this last year and one student had said, “I have never, ever peeled potatoes. I’m so proud of myself.”

Not one student would be able to say that this year after their Friday’s efforts.  The reason for this hard and big scale teamwork is they are fund raising is a long arm project – the purchasing of over 50 complete Kapa Haka uniforms. This will cost a great deal and so they will keep raising fund, working together, and when they have a sizeable amount, they will be able to apply for some funds. For the leaders of this project who are both teachers, Whaea Jo Kaaho and Matua Marcus Oxenham, it is important that this big project connects with their community and involves their community.

“We have to start somewhere,” says Matua Marcus. “The parent committee whanau group who are actioning the fund-raising projects, are very aware this there is a lot of work to be done,” says Marcus.” The kids love being involved in the work – there is a lot of matu (work) and that’s a necessary part of the project.“ Later this year the group hopes to be entering the Hauraki regional competitions but will be wearing the group’s current uniforms which have been passed down for some time Both Marcus and Jo have a vison of what the young people can achieve and they provide an example of the hard work and love needed.

One of the processes as part of their fund raising is coming up with a design that is just right for everyone. There are many parts to a Kapa Haka uniform and this large group has young men and young women of all sizes.  The support and active involvement of the parents was a big plus for both the preparations at Puahape Whare at the school, and encouraging their children at the markets with the selling of the Hangi trays and Kapa Haka performance. All of this is at the beginning of their Kapa Haka work with many Year Sevens joining this year, so confidence was not flush, but their performance was enjoyed and appreciated.

This project is ongoing and will grow. The school is giving a lot of support and has invested in a good quality hangi oven which saves the digging in the earth – not practical in the school grounds or at Soldiers Memorial Park.

The young people will one day in the next 12 months wear their hard earned costumes and perform with great pride, telling their story of journeying, culture and community.

Readers are invited to donate to the development and learning of the community’s young people through this very worthwhile project which will only be achieved with a lot of hard work and a wide umbrella of supporters.

Contact MBAS for more information email:oxenhamm@mbas.ac.nz