Korowai gifted to Festival Founder on 10th year celebration
The annual taranaki Festival powhiri was accompanied by a heart warming ceremony The korowai is presented by the Puanga committee to a different person every year and past recipients include Dr Ruakere Hond, Pue "Barry" Whakaruru and Raymond kaiki. This year however it was presented to the Festivals founder, much to his surprise he was called on by his three grand daughters and loving wife before being presented with the taonga.
The event was published by the Taranaki Daily News
The Waitara man responsible for setting up a popular kapa haka festival has been recognised for his achievements.
During yesterday's powhiri to open the Taranaki Puanga festival, Clive Tongaaw'ikau was presented with a korowai or cloak by the organising committee as recognition of his contribution to kapa haka and te reo in the region.
Tongaaw'ikau said although it was a surprise to him to be awarded with the honour he was "completely chuffed".
"It's a huge thing to set up but once it's done you feel you have achieved so much."
Tongaaw'ikau said the cloak symbolised efforts made by people to keep the Maori culture alive in Taranaki.
"It's about rangatira who have worked with the community to promote all things Maori," he said.
The korowai is presented by the Puanga committee to a different person every year and past recipients include Dr Ruakere Hond and Pue "Barry" Whakaruru.
Tongaaw'ikau's dedication to performing arts has seen him take on tutoring roles at various schools around the region over the years and he will also lead his team Tutu Ka'ika to Te Matatini, the national kapa haka champs in Christchurch next year.
Ten years on from when the festival began Tongaaw'ikau hoped it would continue to grow in the future.
He said most Maori dreamed of seeing their tamariki or mokopuna on stage, speaking or singing te reo and showing pride in their culture.
"Basically, that's what Puanga is about."
He said the event had changed so much over the years and more schools than ever took part in the kapahaka and te reo speech competitions.
"And the belief is growing."
About 44 school groups and teams are scheduled to take to the stage to perform before the taonga are handed out at this afternoon's prizegiving.
A sports tournament and the Puanga ball will round off festivities on Saturday.
Competition re-starts today at 9am at Waitara's War Memorial Hall and entry is by gold coin donation.
- Taranaki Daily News http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/10682859/Cloak-gift-recognises-founders-work