Pounamu founders acknowledged

 The kapa haka world was privileded to celebrate the lives of two of the most succesful tutors in the history of the national kapa haka festival since it started way back in 1972. The night was put on by their family and members of Te Waka Huia, it was a double celebration for this amazing duo Aunty Nens 80th birthday, but also celebrated hers and Uncle Bubs 55 years of marriage. King Tuheitia was in attendance ( pictured with his wife Te Atawhai) . Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples was there as was Hone Harawira, Parekura Horomia and Hekia Parata and her recently knighted husband Wira Gardiner.

All of these dignataries and royalty gathered to pay homage to this gracious and humble couple who have given their life and soul to the Maori performing arts through their dedication, unquestionable passion and commitment to Kapa Haka. They are undoubtedly the undisputed most successful kapa haka tutors in the history of the National festival winning it a record 6 times,  twice with Waihirere and four times with Te Waka Huia.

Na Matai Smith, Pipiwharauroa columnist


 

Venice, Italy - Biennale

Te Waka Huia were honoured to represent New Zealand at the Venice Biennale, as the national kapa haka champions, Te Waka Huia attended the openining ceremionies of NZ artists, Judy Millar and Francis Upritchard.  Te Waka Huia escorted the NZ patrons through the cobblestone streets of Venice to the infamous St ark's Square where a traditional Maori welcome for VIPs of Venice, Italy and NZ was conducted.  Many thanks to the sponsors, Creative New Zealand and Te Matatini.

 


 

Shanghai with John Key

Pounamu travelled to Shanghai China to the official opening of NZ Central, a business hub for New Zealanders conducting trade in China and throughout other parts of Asia.  The opening cermony was conducted by NZ Prime Minister John Key.  It is expected that NZ Central will be a key focal point for businesses in preparation for the World Expo being hosted by the city of  Shanghai in 2010.