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Polyfest (Māori Stage) inspires students

Aniseto Paselio

On behalf of our Sancta Maria Kapa Haka, I would like to thank everyone involved for allowing us to attend Division Three at this year’s Polyfest Māori Stage, which was held in March, this year.

It was such a privilege to experience the many schools displaying their blood, sweat and tears they have put into performing in front of a large crowd at this special event. On this occasion, we watched and supported Marist College’s act. After their performance ended, we took the opportunity to show our gratitude and respect, for the hard work they put into performance as well as the courage it took to perform in front of a large audience, by performing a haka tautoko for them called ‘Tika Tonu’. We felt like we were performing up on the Polyfest stage too – like a dream yet so real!

The stinging feeling in our hands, as they ricocheted off us from the slaps our bodies took. The adrenaline racing throughout our bodies the harder we hit ourselves.  Our pūkana eyes were widened to the point where they were filled to the brim with tears and felt like they were burning.

When we finished and waited for the call to ‘e noho’, ‘sit down’, some of us felt the aftermath of the feelings we had while performing. The feeling of our legs shaking, the heavy breathing we felt from shouting too much, but most of all, the itching feeling of wanting to do the haka tautoko one more time.  Overthinking and questioning ourselves – was it good enough, or were we loud enough?  In the end, the faces of the Marist College girls lit up with smiles and some of them crying tears of joy, while they held their heads high with pride.

After this experience, ten of our kapa haka students who attended Polyfest went on to represent Sancta Maria College at Pompallier Shield. We created a song from scratch, talking about how our school has been built on the values Mary demonstrated and how we journey with faith as our compass.  This Himene went on to win the best Waiata at Pompallier Shield with our school gaining 3rd overall.

Our trip to Polyfest inspired us to strive to pursue excellence and be proud of our achievements. Thank you again to all those who made it possible for our kapa haka students to have this amazing experience.