A Window into te Ao Māori: Who's that Kapa?

9 April 2021

In this week's Window into te Ao Māori, Tama Ale Samoa introduces us to an award-wining group from Tairāwhiti, te Kapa Haka o Waihīrere.

Te Kapa Haka o Waihīrere at te Matatini 2019 via Māori Television

Name: Te Kapa Haka o Waihīrere
Location: Waihīrere
Debut: 1952
Achievements: 5 times National Champions

Formally established in 1952, Waihīrere competed in the national Kapa Haka arena since the inaugural Polynesian Festival in 1972, now known as Te Matatini, and at all 20 festivals since then. Waihīrere are known for their particular way of singing — beautiful and sweet, yet strong and powerful. They are also renowned for their east coast style of dance and have always a been a haka freak favourite. It's no surprise that Waihīrere are 5-time national Kapa Haka champions — the only other team to achieve this is Waka Huia, who just happen to be a break off from Waihīrere.

Waihīrere won the National Kapa Haka Competition in:

2002 - Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
1998 - Te Whanganui-a-tara Trentham
1988 - Te Taitokerau Whāngarei
1979 - Te Whanganui-a-tara Wellington
1972 - Te Arawa Rotorua