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Haka Competition for rōpū influenced by Hamuera's dissertation.

Thursday 1 September 2016 2:15pm

Photo of Hamuera Maika 15.9.2016Hamuera Maika BPhEd(Hons) 2009

Hamuera isn't one to make a song and dance about his commitment and hard work to reap success for his students at Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae in Māngere, South Auckland.

However, at the 2016 Ngā Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua o Aotearoa 2016/National Secondary School Kapa Haka competition held in Napier from 26 to 29 July, Hamuera's team produced a performance so powerful and emotive that the School placed third in the Haka section and the team was 5th overall in the whole competition out of thirty nine Schools who participated from all over New Zealand.

Hamuera, who is a Te Reo Māori / Outdoor Education teacher and Dean of Year 9 to 10 boys, has worked at Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae as a registered teacher for 3 years and has been tutoring the kapa for about 5 years.

He choreographed the majority of the haka entitled 'Tāmaki ki te Tonga Mōrikarika'/'Dregs of South Auckland' with input from the senior members of the kapa who also helped conceive the theme and compose the haka.

Hamuera Maika Haka group - TE KURA MĀORI O NGĀTAPUWAE 2016
Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae Kapa Haka 2016 team. Permission to use photo given by the Principal of Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae.

Hamuera explains:

"Our haka urges the media to stop encouraging negative stereotypes of South Auckland Māori youth (males in particular) and how this stereotype can limit our youth.

This perpetuates 'false' and damaging ideas of Māori as 'inherently violent' and preconditioned to act in a delinquent way.

This is evident in many of the personal experiences of our students and how they are treated by others especially those that don't live in South Auckland.

The result of these constant misrepresentations is that South Auckland youth are generally seen as gang members, alcoholics, violent delinquents and dole bludgers. Māori and Pasifika people have high statistics in all the most harmful areas.

We ask 'How did this happen? What is the solution?' These problems occur due to a complex interplay of social, cultural, historical, individual and systemic influences and therefore the solution lies in all of these areas.

The answer also lies in knowing that we are more similar than what we are told. This haka was highly influenced by the work that we did when I completed my physical education honours dissertation under my lecturer's guidance."

Dr Mark Falcous, senior lecturer at the School, who was Hamuera's honours thesis supervisor, says "It's a neat example of how critical thinking can translate into progressive action and practice."

View the competition video online

View the write up on Māori Television website