How many other IT companies have a Kapa Haka?

by Chris Cormack

I'm going to hazard a guess and say, not many, if any.

As part of our birthday celebrations, all the staff of our NZ offices spent Friday the 7th of July being able to work on anything we liked for the day. We called it the Catathon and lots of neat projects were worked on. I won't go into them all because that's worthy of a blog post or 7 in itself. But do take a look at the photos if you are keen.

What I wanted to talk about was the fact that one of the projects was a few of us getting together to learn a waiata. We spent a while picking one we liked, but also one we thought we could learn in an hour or 2. We eventually settled on Rona, using this version as our inspiration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVXGu3xtquI&feature=youtu.be

But not content to stop there, we decided we should add poi to it, so with the help of youtube again we found another version that taught the poi actions. Of course we had to make some poi at that point, recycling paper, plastic bags and some wool from the $2 shop we got to work. They weren't the finest poi you'll ever see, but they did the job, and that evening at the birthday party, the Catalyst Kapa Haka got its first outing.

There were about 8 of us in all and we had so much fun, we've decided to make it a regular thing, so we now do have a kapa haka at Catalyst. We plan to meet every couple of weeks and add more to our repertoire. So yes, we are now an IT company with a kapa haka.

It is one of the things I love about Catalyst, when one of the random Māori developers suggests lets start a kapa haka, people jump at the idea. Come for the software development, stay for the Te Reo lessons and Kapa haka.

Mauri ora