Kapa haka highlight of Queenstown celebrations

Photo by James BeechThe performance by newly formed Queenstown-based kapa haka group Te Iti o Tahuna (above) was the highlight of the free community celebration of Waitangi Day in the Queenstown Gardens yesterday.

The 28 Wakatipu members presented five of the self-composed pieces they will perform at the Waitaha regional competition in Christchurch on April 12 against a dozen other lower South Island groups. Te Iti o Tahuna, which was formed two months ago, aims to be among the four groups to qualify for the national contest, spokesman Jahmaine Cummings-Hodge, of Queenstown, said.

The group performed for the hundreds of residents and visitors who flocked to the gardens

for an afternoon of Waitangi Day festivities. Reggae music was played by live bands and DJs in the rotunda while stalls opened for arts and crafts trade and people lounged on blankets.

Patrons tucked into a hangi, which had been prepared in the grounds of Queenstown Primary School.