Welcome brings airport to stand still

 English rap artist Tinie Tempah is all smiles as he is surrounded by the King's and Queen's High School kapa haka group at Dunedin International Airport yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.It wasn't the arrival of a rap superstar that brought Dunedin International Airport to a standstill yesterday, but a group of high school pupils.

English rap artist Tinie Tempah was welcomed to the airport with a powhiri by the King's and Queen's High School kapa haka group.

Those passing through the lower floor of the airport stopped and watched as the group of about 30 pupils performed.

Tempah appeared moved by the stirring performance. He stood still and smiled, hands clasped under his chin, as he watched the group.

''It was brilliant. I don't even need to do a concert,'' he told the group after the performance.

He learnt about the traditional Maori welcome when he last toured New Zealand and to see it performed again was ''amazing'', he said.

''There's so many different ways to exit an airport, but this is definitely the best.''

Following the performance, he stopped to hongi the group, sign autographs and have his photo taken.

Among the group was Grace Dickson (15) who could not find words to describe the excitement of meeting Tempah.

''Oh my god. I don't even know [what to say]. I'm speechless.

''I got the first hongi and that was amazing. And he smells very nice,'' she saidTempah said he was excited to be in Dunedin for the first time and was looking forward to tonight's show at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

''We will give them a lot of energy,'' he said.

''We are going to be disturbing Dunedin and having fun.''

Otago University Students' Association event manager Dan Hendra said about 6000 people were expected at the show, which also featured English group Chase and Status and electronica producer Sub Focus.

''We are obviously quite excited about the show,'' he said.

''It's going to be huge, absolutely massive. We had Macklemore last year ... and this is much the same calibre.''

The show starts at 8pm and finishes at midnight.

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