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The Invercargill library yesterday was filled with the mana of Waverley Park School’s kapa haka.
About 50 pupils from the group Tuinga Tahi joined the celebrations of Te Wiki o te Reo Maori, Maori Language Week, at the library.
Among them were Rahiri Cooper (10), Raiha Blair (9) and Tane Furlonge (10), who showed their pukana during the presentation of Maori performing arts.
Waverley Park School principal Kerry Hawkins said the week was important to keep the culture alive.
"You use it or you lose it. Previous generations — these kids’ grandparents — their generation weren’t really exposed to it [te reo] in the schooling system.
"It just wasn’t there because English was promoted as the way to go forward but it has been a Maori renaissance in the recent years."
Event organiser Mandy Stenton created a week of activities to celebrate a range of Maori arts, including kapa haka and wood carving.
"This is considered [for many] a second home, so it is our culture.
"We need to step up," Ms Stenton said.