Kapa haka

Where can I find information about kapa haka?

Senior Primary

(Years 5-8)

Colour photo of 2 people performing a waiata ā-ringa (action song). One is a woman in piupiu (flax skirt), pari (bodice) and tīpare (headband). One is a man in maro (short kilt).

Image: Kapa haka at the awards dinner by Government House on Governor-General.

Entry last updated: 15/07/22


Kapa haka is a traditional Māori performing art involving songs (waiata), dance and chanting. Kapa haka is performed by groups on a marae and in a variety of places and on different occasions. There are many kapa haka competitions held throughout Aotearoa New Zealand each year.

General websites

The websites below will guide you to the meaning, history, types and significance of kapa haka including formal competitions held around Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we look down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Select Stories A-Z from the top menu. Then select K.

  • Choose Kapa Haka to understand the meaning of kapa haka, and about kapa haka groups and competitions.

Topic Explorer (National Library of New Zealand)

Topic Explorer is an online tool from the National Library of New Zealand. It contains a wide range of quality resources for students in a range of formats, (like articles, books, images, videos, primary sources and websites) on a variety of topics. These resources have been selected from reliable national and international sources.

  • Look down to find the link to Haka.

  • Use the Filter by keyword feature to enter the words 'kapa haka'.

  • This will bring up images, articles, a video and a website on this topic.

  • Explore the website Te Matatini Society Inc. or watch the video Haka Fusion.

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

Tāmata Toiere

Find information about waiata and haka including lyrics, translation, explanation, context and other background information. This site is bilingual.

  • Select kapa haka from the Browse menu to find a list of waiata and haka.

  • Choose a title like Poi E to see the lyrics and read about the waiata.

Tips: Some websites have .au, .nz, .uk or other codes in their url. This can tell you which country this website comes from eg .au is from Australia or .nz is from New Zealand. You can check the About Us link on the website for more information.

Christchurch City Libraries

This website belongs to the libraries around Christchurch and Banks Peninsular. They have great pages on learning resources for many school topics.

  • Search the Website for 'kapa haka'.

  • Select the link Kapa haka. It has a brief introduction including the disciplines of kapa haka performances.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Sound & video

These websites will guide you to videos and sound recordings of kapa haka.

Māori Television

Māori Television connects New Zealanders with Māori language and culture by showing a range of programmes. It has a programme showcasing kapa haka.

  • Select Tamariki.

  • Look for Music shows.

  • Tamariki Haka is a show that has some of the best primary and intermediate kura kapa haka from across Aotearoa.

  • You can also enter 'kapa haka' into the search feature to find links to kapa haka festivals and regional competitions around the country.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Funded by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision's collection has film and television, radio and sound recordings, and more from over 120 years of New Zealand’s history.

  • Use the search bar to enter in 'kapa haka'.

  • Go to Availability and select Available Online.

  • Then select Apply filters.

  • Here you will find video and audio recordings of kapa haka groups over many years.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.


A video-sharing site and app that has many videos of groups performing and demonstrating kapa haka.

  • Enter the keywords 'kapa haka kids' into the search box.

  • Select Kapa Haka 4 Kids Session 1. Kaiako (teacher) Whaitiri Poutawa will teach you waiata and haka.

  • You can see all his videos on his channel Whaitiri Poutawa.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg kapa haka. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.


Check your school library or local public library for books on kapa haka. Here are some titles to help you begin your search:

SCIS no. 5402532

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