- Pauline Hopa- Head Tutor
The Story of Hātea Kapa Haka
The story of Hātea Kapa Haka began at the dawn of the millennium the year 2000.
Joby suggested to me that we should start our own kapa haka roopuu. We were in Te
Waka Huia at the time and had just completed the nationals at Turangawaewae. I
approached Uncle Bub and told him we were thinking about starting a roopu. He was
very supportive and felt he needed to give me the low down on what it really took to run
a roopuu. “ If you still want to do it after that Pauline, then that’s good. I would have
done my part and given you the full story”.
“Now Pauline, most of our kōrero started out that way. He had an opinion on everything
and a well thought out rationale for his thoughts. “Are you prepared to be broke for a
lot of the time, kapa haka takes time money and lots of fundraising, that’s a big one”.
The next was “and whenever you travel anywhere, you’ll have to take 100 others with
you, your time is never your own, kapa haka will fill your life”. And the next “you will
also find yourself in the middle of your members issues, with their family, all sorts”. He
went on to tell me that kapa haka had brought him and Aunty Nen their highest highs
and some lows too. “The lows are par for the course Pauline and not everyone will
celebrate your successes either.”
“Well Pauline that’s it, aunty and I wish you all the best and we’ll keep an eye out for
you. Make sure you have a home Pauline, don’t be a roopu mānene.”
That was the word from the most successful kapa haka tutor ever. I treasure that
kōrero and the rare insight it gave me. Needless to say we started our roopu- then
without a name but with a turangawaewae at Pehiaweri Marae, Whangārei with our
eyes firmly fixed on the Tai Tokerau Senior Regionals 2001.
About a year later Uncle Bub asked me how things were going. All I had to say was
“everything you said was right Uncle”