9 Jul 2012

Cultural exchange festival highlight for Maori performer

10:43 am on 9 July 2012

The leader of the New Zealand kapa haka group Te Waka Huia says the chance to meet people from other parts of the Pacific is the highlight of the regional arts festival underway in Solomon Islands.

The capital Honiara is the venue for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts, which is also celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Tapeta Wehi says he has attended a number of festivals but this one is special.

"This one is kind of up there for me, because of the culture here. The culture here, they're an ancient people, and I like that within cultures. They're very steeped in their culture, whereas I think Maori, we're very westernised, where these people are still living their old ways."

Tapeta Wehi says the Solomon Islands audience has responded very warmly to Te Waka Huia's performances and he thinks that is because they feel an affinity with Maori.