Despite the vitality of kapa haka as an art form and its significance to our culture, its value is not well understood or documented. There have been surprisingly few studies on its contribution to New Zealand society. Te Matatini and Manatū Taonga are working together to develop a programme of research to build empirical evidence of the cultural, social, health, education and economic impacts of kapa haka.
This scoping report is the result of consultation with kapa haka practitioners and interested government agencies. It conveys the passion of kapa haka practitioners – composers, choreographers, tutors and performers – who bring kapa haka to life every day, at home, on the marae, in schools and communities or through regional, national and international events. Behind the scenes are also the many volunteers and whanau who support their roopu and ensure kapa haka is sustained from the local grassroots to the national and international stages – most recently at the 2014 Edinburgh Tattoo.
Kapa haka is more than just performance. It is a unique part of our identity as New Zealanders and helps facilitate meaningful connections with other cultures. The very strong belief that kapa haka contributes to social cohesion, positive health and educational outcomes and economic vitality is expressed throughout the report.