During our recent Hikoi (journey) to the North Island, the Hato Petera Kapa Haka ropu (St Peter's College Kapa Haka Group) learned so much so quickly, grew stronger in their confidence, performance, tikanga and connection with each other. Our first few days spent together were difficult as we adjusted to living with new people in the exciting new world of Central Wellington. During that time, we took part in some pretty major events such as the national ANZAC Dawn Parade Ceremony in Wellington, performances at the Te Papa Marae, and at Parliament itself. For all of us these were naturally once in a lifetime events, as was staying at the marae at Parihaka in Taranaki. During our time at Parihaka, we connected with the Maori heritage and the significance for all of New Zealanders of this historical site and the people of the area. We were certainly given a new sense of pride and understanding as to what it means to be part of the Kapa Haka group for our school. A few days later, we were welcomed by the community in Jerusalem. We immediately felt like part of the whanau in Hiruharama who treated us like their own. With no Wi-Fi or service, we were able to disconnect ourselves from the outside world and focus on our time in Hiruharama, learning more about our culture and bonding as a group. This hikoi was an amazing opportunity that allowed us to become a whanau rather than just a ‘group’. We were able to experience our Maori heritage in a new and exciting way. Thank you so much to those parents and staff who both attended as well as worked so hard to support us and make it all possible. Thanks also to our wonderful sponsors Burr Crutching Ltd, Aitken Joinery, Décor Solutions, Gore RSA, Pakehe Lions and Hokonui Runanga and generous community contributors who without their support, none of this would have been possible.
Grace Turipa - Leader of Special Character