Mastering the kapa haka

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Some Arrowtown School teachers shed tears when students Sophie Morris, 13, (above left) Waimarie Smith, 12, and Jett Kyme-Harcourt, 7, (right) showcased their winning kapa haka skills at assembly last Thursday. 

A select group of 32 kids from the school’s 140-strong Maori performance group came up trumps in their first competition – winning the novice section of the Putangitangi festival in Invercargill on October 29. 

Arrowtown teacher and group tutor Karen Neill says kids gave up three lunch times a week over a month and a Saturday to train for the Southland event. 

The group was “blown away” by its success and will tackle a higher division next year, she adds. 

Next up for the kids is likely to be a powhiri at The Hills golf course in December.