Kapa haka favourites Muriwhenua will unveil a special new haka at the national kapa haka championships Te Matatini next week."Ko te wharetapu o muriwhenua” Thomas Strickland, Kaihaka of Muriwhenua said "The haka makes a stance against all the bad publicity making us look like the centre of harm in New Zealand. So we want to paint a picture that this is not our house, this is not the house left to us by our tupuna."
The Muriwhenua rōpū includes participants from Ngāti Kurī, Ngāi Takoto, Ngāti Kahu, Te Aupōuri and Te Rarawa. They have been developing the haka around sustainable hauora which has led to members taking a collective stance against drug use, gambling harm, unhealthy food and smoking.
"The organisers of Te Matatini have been leading the way in healthy lifestyles promotion and it’s a perfect fit for the new Muriwhenua haka" said Anthony Hawke GM of Māori Public Health for Hāpai Te Hauora, "we congratulate Te Matatini for once again running an event without alcohol or tobacco, and with healthy food and beverage options. As the premier showcase for Māori performing arts it’s a great opportunity to role model hauora Māori as well".
About Te Matatini
"Te Matatini is a significant cultural festival and the pinnacle event for Māori performing arts. Held every two years, it is one of the most highly anticipated events for performers, their whānau and the mass of passionate Kapa Haka fans throughout the world.
The festival prides itself on being whānau friendly, smoke, and alcohol free event. It has an open door policy, where all people are welcome to come and experience the timeless tradition and spectacle of Kapa Haka".
For the 2017 programme see here www.tematatini.co.nz/assets/Uploads/programme.pdf