A Queenstown man's dream to help Maori performing arts thrive
in the resort took a giant step forward at the weekend.
Five kapa haka groups - including teams from Christchurch and
Dunedin - took part in the Queenstown Winter 10s competition
at the Queenstown Memorial Hall on Saturday.
With help from Ngai Tahu Tourism, the event was organised by
Jahmaine Cummings and Mahia Brown, the tutors of recently
formed kapa haka group Te Iti o Tahuna.
Mr Cummings said that after putting out feelers to schools in
the district, the pair began tutoring Maori performing arts
at Wakatipu High School about 12 months ago, and formed Te
Iti o Tahuna with pupils from the school.
Buoyed by its success at competitions, they formed a senior
section six months later, bringing its total number to more
than 40, and have also started teaching kapa haka at
However, after taking both intermediate and senior groups to
a regional competition in Christchurch last December, he
realised there would be no more opportunities to compete for
another 12 months, so decided to organise his own
''We've been here for three years, and there's been nothing
like this down here before. We wanted to show people what
Queenstown is all about, and bring some Maori culture down
"This time of year we've got a lot of tourists, so it's a
good chance for them to have exposure to it as well.''
He plans to make the competition an annual event, and has
already set a date, July 3, for next year.
A combined intermediate and senior group from Te Iti o Tahuna
will also travel to Hawaii next June to compete in a kapa
haka competition organised by an expat New Zealander.