Ngāti Whātua man Te Aroha Hawke teaches Māori language and culture to non-Māori kids from Auckland's eastern suburbs.    

Every Wednesday at 7:45 am, Hawke teaches kapa haka to students at Kohimarama Primary School.

They're practising for a kapa haka festival that Hawke set up four years ago for schools in east and central Auckland and while it started off small, the festival has grown significantly.

But that's not all; he says he's also helping other schools prepare for the festival this Sunday.  

"Monday at St Thomas at lunchtime, Tuesday mornings at King's, Wednesday I'm at Kohimarama, Thursday at Ōrākei, and Friday at Newton - these kids love kapa haka with a passion and they perform it with a passion."

Hawke says he has a special bond to Kohimarama School, as his grandfather Eru Hawke is a former student. 

The whānau of the school are delighted to have him.

He says his main focus is to carry on Ngapo Wehi's legacy. He is a member of kapa haka Te Manu Huia, the teina of Te Waka Huia, and this year marks his tenth year. 

He lives by the late Ngapo Wehi's legacy that having an open mind can lead to creative greatness.

"Ki te wātea te hinengaro me te kaha rere o te wairua, ka tāea ngā mea katoa. Ērā kupu e mau tonu ana. We're still trying to keep the legacy going and hope we're doing it right."

The Ngā Rau o Te Kāhu Festival takes place this Sunday at Ōrākei Marae. 

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