Waikato-Maniapoto, Ngai Tahu, Te Ati Hau Nui A Pāpārangi, Tuwharetoa
- Bachelor of Arts
- Te Matatini 2019
Mahara Hepi (Waikato-Maniapoto, Ngai Tahu, Te Ati Hau Nui A Pāpārangi, Tuwharetoa) studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Anthropology and Psychology at the University of Waikato. While she was a student at the University, she threw herself into her studies and into Kapa Haka as the Co-President of Te Waiora o Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato.
Mahara says the meaning of Kapa Haka in her life has changed as she’s grown older. “As a child it was just something I did because it was fun and my family did it. Because my parents don’t have reo, it was their way of encouraging us to learn.”
Mahara came to the University form Otorohanga College where she found herself in a hub for other young Māori passionate about Kapa Haka in some way. "There are so many influential people who lecture at Waikato, or have lectured there in the past, who contribute hugely to what we see and understand as Kapa Haka now." That basket of knowledge is right in your hand at Waikato. So if I could give advice to someone it would be to capitalise on that, and take all of the opportunities right in front of you.