The head judge of the Maori stage at last week's Polyfest in Auckland says the use of weaponry in kapa haka performances was 'awesome'.
Forty-two Maori groups competed in the 37th Maori and Pacific secondary schools cultural festival.
Paora Sharples says the display of mau rakau (weaponry) improves every year.
He says he can tell how good the performance will be by the calibre of the tutor that takes the group.
Mr Sharples says it's good to have excellent tutors that have done years of training in mau rakau, which is presented well on stage.
He's says it's an area of performance that just gets better and better.