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About the book
  • Published: 4 June 2019
  • ISBN: 9780143773870
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $17.99

The Girls in the Kapa Haka


Formats & editions


Tahi, rua, toru, wha - join in with this readaloud celebration of kapa haka!

New Zealand’s favourite story celebrating the Maori performing art of kapa haka is great for the whanau to read together!


These are the poi that circled and twirled
above the heads of the singing girls
who wore the piupiu that swished and swirled,
made from the flax that Koro cut,
that the mussel shell scraped,
that the kuia made,
that swung from the hips
of the girls in the kapa haka.

  • Pub date: 4 June 2019
  • ISBN: 9780143773870
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $17.99

About the Authors

Angie Belcher

Angie Belcher is a writer, teacher and adventurer whose several books for children include the now classic Girls in the Kapa Haka. She lives in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Debbie Tipuna

Debbie Tipuna is a children’s author and illustrator, a children’s librarian and a cool Nana. She lives in the beautiful coastal city of Tauranga, New Zealand with her husband, approximately sixty-three seagulls and a couple of pukeko. Her home studio has inspiring views of the harbour and is a short walk from the beach and Opopoti (Maungatapu) Marae. She has won a number of awards for her art and in 2017 was the inaugural recipient of the Tautoko Maori Foundation’s Basilicata art residency in Italy. A mixed media artist, Debbie especially loves working with gouache paints to convey her vibrant representations of the flora, fauna and folk of Aotearoa.


Praise for The Girls in the Kapa Haka

“It is a very well-paced story, and fun to read aloud to 4-10 year olds. My 8-year-old who has just started kapa haka at school enjoyed having it read to her. Both my kids noticed and appreciated the diversity in the people represented, we liked the different bodies and styles. This is an important book to share with our kids, because it shows them how truly centred and loved they can be within our wider communities.”

Lucy Black, The Sapling

“This picture book was first published by Reed in 2006 and has made a welcome comeback as I’m sure there are many well-worn and well-loved copies of the original in libraries all over New Zealand...Any primary school student who is in a Kapa Haka club or has watched a performance will appreciate this simple but delightful story. With the increased interest in Te Reo and Kapa Haka, this book is sure to go flying off the shelves and be enjoyed by many. Highly recommended.”

Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, School Library Review, New Zealand Book Council


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