As a parent I do my very my best to steer my kids into areas and activities where they will be safe, grow, have fun and learn. Swimming in a new place, I’ll go in front, keep my eyes on them and stay close to them so that they feel comfortable. I know where all the parks are in the area, the basketball courts, bike tracks and swimming pools and their opening times and when they’re cleaned.
Growing up with kapa haka through primary, high school and then after it’s natural that I wanted my kids to experience those same highs and lows, a sense of belonging and an understanding of who they are. At kapa you don’t leave your kids at the door. You find a place to help no matter how small and fit in. In Australia I’ve found my place sitting on committees and doing what little part I can do to ensure that things got done in the background so that the things on the stage worked.
There were always those that did more; the parents that made the uniforms, the drivers that picked everyone up and dropped kids off home safely, the cooks and the cleaners. Those jobs came around to everyone at some stage but there were always the stalwarts who gave the performers and kids so much to be thankful for – a lot of hard work and fundraising goes into kapa haka. The kaiako and leaders were people of character, standing and value – they’re respected.
In Australia the opportunities to be involved have not always been close by. So when they do come around I make sure that I put my kids in front so that they will be around kapa haka as much as possible. Or that was until I witnessed Issac Cotter the conniving, immoral, dictating chairperson of NKTT.
The thought that public have accepted Issac Cotters scamming ways irks me greatly. With the Australian Kapa Haka Competitions in Perth just around the corner he’s yet again duped decent human beings to accept his foul, cheating and undermining behaviour and I’m absolutely disgusted.