“If we can have drama as a university entrance subject in schools, then I think it’s only right we also have subjects like Te Ao Haka in schools throughout Aotearoa,” says kaiako (teacher) Tūhoe Tamaiparea.
This year Te Ao Haka was finally introduced as a new NCEA subject.
Previously Māori performing arts was not a recognised subject for university entrance, which meant kaiako taught it through unit standards or through the dance or drama curriculum.
Now 34 secondary schools and kura are piloting Te Ao Haka. Ngā Puna o Waiorea in Tāmaki Makaurau is one of three schools who recently took part in a haka theatre show called Autaia which merges kapa haka and theatre.
With opportunities growing both in and out of school, Māori performing arts is proving to be a viable and exciting pathway for many rangatahi.