After six weeks of performances across New Zealand prisons, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has congratulated Tongariro Prison as the overall winner of the 2021 Hōkai Rangi Whakataetae Kapa Haka.
Teams from 16 sites have been practicing hard and performing during the competition that focuses this year on whānau, one of the six pou in Corrections’ Hōkai Rangi strategy.
“When I announced this competition in April, I was excited for what was to come. The teams have stepped up to the challenge this year and we have seen some amazing kapa haka performances,” Kelvin Davis said.
“I would like to say a huge congratulations to all of the participants and winners, especially Tongariro Prison, the Toi Whakaihu Waka (overall winners).”
Tongariro Prison was also awarded first place in the Waiata Tira, Whakaeke, Mōteatea, Waiata-a-ringa and Haka categories.
“Kapa haka is about teamwork, discipline, and learning. It creates whanaungatanga among the participants,” Kelvin Davis said.
“It is a way to improve well-being, re-connect with hapū and iwi, and demonstrate dedication, commitment and hard work.
“I know many sites will be starting to look ahead to next year, whether it be to defend their position or improve on this year, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for the whakataetae.”
The winners of the 13 categories, comprising of six sites, will be presented with a taonga created by another site. For first place overall, Tongariro Prison will be awarded the taonga Piritahitanga, which was donated by Rimutaka Prison.
Other winners include Rimutaka Prison, Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility, Otago Corrections Facility, Spring Hill Corrections Facility and Auckland South Corrections Facility.
Videos of each kapa haka performance will be aired on Prison TV.
The kapa haka competition is supported by the Māori Pathways programme in recognition of the value that connection to culture has for people in prison.