Winners of kapa haka festival named

7:16 pm on 29 July 2016

Te Rōpū Raukura, from Rotorua Boys' and Rotorua Girls' High School, is the winner of the national secondary schools' kapa haka competition.

Te Rōpū Raukura, from Rotorua Boys and Rotorua Girls High School, celebrate their victory.

Te Rōpū Raukura, from Rotorua, celebrate the team's first-ever national victory. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Nine school teams from around Aotearoa competed in the finals in the Pettigrew Arena in Napier today, with the Rotorua team taking out the top title for the first time.

The manukura tane (male leader) of Raukura, Arapeta Paea, was almost speechless at being crowned the winning team.

"It's surreal, really. This is the first time our school has ever won a national competition - we're always tapping at the top but never actually quite getting there.

"Humbling as well, we're thankful to all our parents and those who supported us to get us to where we are."

Ngā Puna o Waiorea of Western Springs College came second and the defending champion, Te Wharekura o Rakaumangamanga, which is based in Huntly, came third.

Students from Ngā Puna o Waiorea with their tutor, Pere Wihongi

Students from Ngā Puna o Waiorea with their tutor, Pere Wihongi Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Throughout the week, about 1500 students from 39 schools have sung and performed haka and pūkana, with some defending their titles and others performing for the first time.

The other teams to have made it to the finals were Ngā Taiātea Wharekura, Te Manawatahi, Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae, Te Piringa, Whakatane High School and Te Maurea Whiritoa.

The next Ngā Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua o Aotearoa competition will be held in two years' time in Palmerston North.

Students from Whakatane High School

Students from Whakatane High School during today's finals. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

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