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Kids jump for Massey at Kapa Haka Nationals

Crowds watching an attempt on the vertical jump at the Massey stand

The National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka competition proved to be a highly successful engagement for Massey University.

As major sponsor of the bi-annual event, Massey had a large presence at the festival held at the Trusts Arena in Palmerston North, last week. With more than 2000 students in 41 teams, it is one of the largest gatherings of Māori secondary schoolers in the country.

University staff not only MC’d the competition stage, but also provided activities in the exhibitor’s hall including the very popular College of Health vertical jump that had students competing to see who could jump the highest.


A team of students and lecturers from the College of Creative Arts’ Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts programme produced an onsite mural designed by lecturer Israel Tangaroa Birch, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngā Puhi.  The artwork, entitledTe Ara Toi (The Pathway of Excellence), celebrates the pursuit of Toi and the journey to obtaining knowledge that inspires and creates change. The kōwhaiwhai in the design represent kāwai whakapapa, the links to our ancestral past, present and future. The mural was gifted to Hastings School, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga team, which was voted most popular at the event.

Newly designed  Māori@Massey t-shirts were also in hot demand with many being given away as prizes.

Head of Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Knowledge Professor Meihana Durie says feedback about Massey’s presence was hugely positive from rangatahi (youth), kaiako (teachers), judges and whānau. “This is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when we move together in these spaces.”

The incredible kapa haka performances can be viewed at the Māori Television website.

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