Autaia shining a light on captivating world of haka theatre

More than 400 students will be taking to the stage at Auckland's Aotea Centre tomorrow for a night of haka theatre performances.

Hawaiki Tū's Autaia showcases secondary school performers sharing their stories through Māori performing arts.

It's been a month and a half of hard work for the six Auckland schools involved.

"It's cool to see the modern art form and our tikanga conformed into one. Just to show who we are in a more Māoritanga way," student Aila Dunn said.

Kura Te Ua is the creative director for Autaia and said it can be an overwhelming experience.

"Seeing these kids work in their schools for the past six weeks and then when their eyes light up getting on a big stage like that, it's unreal," she said.

Autaia also provides a unique opportunity for students to earn NCEA credits.

"When I think about coming through school, there wasn't that many opportunities like these. But having something like this means that all other students get to see it," said Te Ua.

It's hoped Autaia can expand to more regions, inspiring the next generation of Māori performers.