Hosted by Old Collegian Raniera Harrison (Parnell, 2004-07), the episode reported on students’ experiences and opinions regarding Māori culture at King’s and showed the student body performing the school haka outside the Centennial Centre.
Old Collegian, Thomas Clarkson (Major, 2015-19), was amongst the various students interviewed for the series and recalled his first encounter with the school haka.
‘It was a bit scary at first… but once we learned it and performed it with the school at the Grammar game, it was really cool.’
He acknowledged that ‘knowing a haka gives you an attachment to [Māori] culture, and being able to express that in a haka makes you feel proud of that culture’ regardless of whether one is of Māori descent.
As Charles Cave (Selwyn, 2015-19) aptly put it, ‘at the end of the day, we’re all New Zealanders. It’s Māori culture but it’s good to show that we’re a part of it.’
2019 Kapa Haka leaders, Tahu Swann (Greenbank, 2015-19) and Levi Uluakiahoia (School, 2015-19) noted that the haka means a lot to them, especially the fact that every student can ‘embrace each other and do it together’ even if they do not know a lot about Māori culture.
Former head of Māori Studies at King’s College, Mr Lincoln Savage, also chimed in, saying that the haka is a very special aspect of King’s to the students as it is ‘an avenue for them to express their feelings’, whether that be grief, pride or celebration.
Follow the link below to view the full episode, which includes a full-school performance of the haka, on Māori Television’s on-demand streaming service.