Regional representative kapa haka organisations and local iwi will no longer be required to bid to host Aotearoa/New Zealand’s premiere biennial national kapa haka championships following changes instituted by Te Matatini Society.
Under the changes announced today, the 12 kapa haka rohe (areas) have each been allocated a year to host the national Te Matatini championships. Te Matatini has restructured the way in which the kapa haka rohe are chosen to host each biennial event, which attracts at least 1600 kapa haka performers and thousands of supporters and spectators from around the country and overseas.
Each event is generally held over four consecutive days and contributes around $7 million to local economies as performers and supporters book accommodation, restaurants and tourist activities in the area in which the event is held.
The new system gives each of the 12 rohe in Aotearoa the opportunity to host the national championships once in the next 24 years, removing the significant time and costs associated with a competitive bid process. Each rohe and the year they will host Te Matatini was chosen through a ballot system, with those rohe that have hosted the last four kapa haka championships as well as the next championships in 2015 (to be hosted by Waitaha, Christchurch) placed at the end of the list.
Te Matatini Chairman Selwyn Parata says the new system, which begins in 2017, brings with it benefits for each rohe wanting to host Māori’s most prestigious event, including certainty and the opportunity for long-term planning. “There is robust competition amongst rohe throughout the country to host a Te Matatini festival. The changes mean no rohe will miss out on being able to host this national event and will ensure that each group is prepared in advance when such a large-scale event is staged in their area,” Selwyn says.
Te Matatini Society Executive Director Darrin Apanui said that each rohe will still be required to meet hosting criteria determined by Te Matatini, although the new system provides each rohe with adequate time to prepare in advance to ensure that requirements are met. If a rohe cannot host the festival in the year they have allocated, the system provides enough time for another host rohe to be found.
The following rohe have been allocated to host Te Matatini festival in the corresponding year:
Kahungunu (Hawkes Bay), 2017; Te-Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), 2019; Tamaki Makaurau
(Auckland), 2021; Aotea (Taranaki / Whanganui), 2023; Te Tau Ihu (Nelson / Marlborough), 2025;
Tainui (Waikato), 2027; Te Taitokerau (Northland), 2029; Rangitaane (Manawatu / Wairarapa),
2031; Mataatua (Bay of Plenty), 2033; Te Tairawhiti (Gisborne / East Coast), 2035; Te Arawa
(Rotorua), 2037; Waitaha (Christchurch / Southern), 2039.e Matatini is responsible for fostering, developing and protecting traditional Māori performing arts throughout Aotearoa. The very first festival was held in 1972 in Rotorua. The 2013 Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Championships returned to Rotorua to celebrate its 21stbiennial festival. Held in February, it attracted around 15,000 people per day over the four day festival.
Auckland group Te Waka Huia, which has competed at Te Matatini since 1986, were named as winners. They have also been champions on four other occasions. Second place was awarded to Te Whānau a Apanui (Mataatua) and third place given to three teams: Tū Te Manawa Maurea (Tairawhiti), Te Iti Kahurangi (Tainui) and Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti (Tairawhiti).