The unique Māori art form of Kapa Haka has been on display in New Zealand, Australia and around the globe as large numbers of online viewers flocked to the Māori Television website to witness Te Matatini 2013 National Championships in Rotorua last week.
Te Matatini Society today praised the work of Māori Television in helping create the “social media kapa haka festival” attracting viewers from all around the world.
A broadcasting relationship between Māori Television and Te Matatini Society, which hosts the biennial kapa haka festival, opened up the festival to viewers who accessed recorded coverage and streamed live performances through the Māori Television website, Twitter, and Facebook.
During the four-day festival, Māori Television’s Te Kaea Facebook page ballooned to almost 20,000 likes and the Māori Television website recorded more than 80,000 unique hits as internet users accessed performances and streamed live the final day’s action from the festival at the Rotorua International Stadium on Sunday.
Viewership of live streaming the final day’s performances was recorded at 20,520. Viewership of highlights of the first three days of the festival continues, with around 15,000 people having viewed the programmes on maoritelevision.com.
Approximately 29.5 percent of internet viewership accessed the Māori Television site through a mobile device.
While most of the internet viewership was generated from New Zealand (56 percent) and Australia (41 percent), the remaining traffic came from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.
The online accessing of the festival was in addition to the more than 233,000 viewers who watched some or all of the live television coverage of the finals on Sunday 24 February.
Meanwhile, Te Matatini’s facebook page also increased likes during the four-day festival to over 7,000 with people from around the world wanting to know more about kapa haka.
The Executive Director of Te Matatini, Darrin Apanui, said today that the internet figures, as well as comments on social media networks, have been extremely encouraging for Te Matatini and their future events. “We are grateful for the strong relationship with Māori Television. Our decision to enter into an exclusive broadcasting relationship with the provider has paid dividends in opening up a world of kapa haka to a huge audience, not only in New Zealand, but in Australia and around the world.”
“Te Matatini 2013 has been the social media kapa haka festival,” Mr Apanui said. “It demonstrates that most people in the world today don’t access their news and entertainment via a two-minute grab each night on TV news and instead want to view information when they want and how they want – on their computers or mobile phones.”The Chief Executive of Māori Television, Jim Mather, said Māori Television was very proud of the partnership with Te Matatini, which showcases the pinnacle of Māori performing arts.
“As New Zealand’s indigenous broadcaster, we considered it mandatory that Māori Television support the festival and provide comprehensive on-air, online and on-the-ground coverage,” he said.
“We also have flexibility to clear our schedule to broadcast three hours of each day’s performances on prime time each night during the festival, and we are particularly proud of our ability to provide all-day live broadcasting of the finals on the last day, both on television and online,” Mr Mather said.
He said that the partnership had enabled Te Matatini to extend the reach of kapa haka beyond the shores of New Zealand and out to the world. “It’s really fantastic that someone from London can send a tweet asking to get mentioned on the stage because they’re watching it live from half-way around the world. That’s the value of the internet and the value of this partnership with Te Matatini, not only to us but to Māori arts and culture.”
Māori Television and Te Matatini Society look forward to a continued on-going relationship for future festivals, they said.