Te Matatini Festival Taonga

Te Matatini taonga have been donated by people, whanau, hapu, iwi and rohe throughout Aotearoa.

Taonga are awarded at the Festival across a range of compulsory and non-compulsory categories.

Te Toa Whakaihuwaka, Overall Winner  - Duncan Mclntyre Trophy

Donor: Duncan Mclntyre, Minister of Maori Affairs 1979-73, 1976-79 

Rt Hon Duncan Mclntyre was the Minister of Maori Affairs during the first festival in 1972. At that time there was a resurgence and revival of Māori language traditions, especially among rangatahi. The trophy has been donated to promote rangatahi in their pursuit of excellence in Te Reo Māori and its traditions.


Whakaeke: Te Whanau o Waipareira Trophy

Donor: Te Whanau o Waipareira

This trophy is modeled on Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust’s logo, designed by Mei Collins. The design is based on the trust’s motto- “Kokiri i roto i te kotahitanga” – “progressively act in unity” – a motto created by several kaumatua. The taonga and its design reflects the unrelenting power and force of the tides; the three baskets of knowledge, productivity and a new lease of life. It was first presented at the 1994 festival in Hawera.


Waiata Tawhito: Te Kani Te Ua Trophy

Donor: Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki

Carved by Moni Taumaunu (Ngāti Porou) and Bill Mau (Ngāpuhi), This trophy was made from an eight foot strainer post found on the slopes of Mangatu. Its base is made out of a piece of timber from Hato Paora College near Feilding. There are two hands holding the sides of the receptacle representing Tane fashioning Hine Ahuone from Papatuanuku (Mother Earth).


Waiata-a-Ringa: Ikaroa Trophy

Donor: Ngāti Poneke Young Māori Club through Minister of Māori Affairs, Rt Hon Duncan Mclntyre

This trophy was donated in 1972 by Ngāti Poneke who was in the forefront of performing arts especially in this category. The group had won the Wellington and Ikaroa district competitions and performed at festivals in Tauranga, Ngaruawahia and the Hui Aranga. The Kaha Haka was known nationally and at the time of donating the trophy was the oldest group. Ngāti Poneke has the distinction of being the trophy’s first winner. 


Haka: Te Ngakau Aroha o Te Waipounamu Trophy

Donor: Timua Crofts

This trophy was presented to the then Polynesian National Committee on behalf of the Waitaha Cultural Council. When it was designed in the form of Mt Aoraki there were two main themes in Timua Croft’s mind – Te Reo o Aoraki and the ngakau aroha. Both these elements have significance for Ngai Tahu. At the time, Ngāi Tahu dialect and reo among its won members was not regarded as strong and vibrant, compared to other tribal groups.

Te reo o Aoraki in the form of the tupuna maunga, Aoraki, was seeen as the pinnacle to which Ngai Tahu should aspire. Te ngakau aroha on the other hand, represents Ngāi Tahu maintaining and retaining their Māori heart and values of aroha and manaakitanga. The saying te ngakau aroha was devised by Te Aritaua Pitama and was adopted as the motto for the then active Kapa Haka, Te whetu Ariki o Kahukura. 


Whakawatea: Wi Te Tau Huata Memorial Trophy

Donor: Wi and Ybel Huata Whanau

This trophy was presented in recognition of Canon Wi and Ybel Huata’s great contribution to composing, tutoring, writing music and their leadership of numerous Kapa Haka. It recognises their environment with He Toa Takitini – a Kapa Haka which performed at the festival in 1972 – and from whom many people then went on to form or lead others. Some of these groups which went on to compete or continue to compete at a national level today.


Waiata Tira: (Choral) Te Roopu Waiata Māori o Aotearoa Trophy

Donor: National Māori Choir

Presented in Rotorua in 1996, the white glass pieces with kowhaiwhai represent the opera Ka Awatea performed by the donor group. They also represent rays of light reaching up to the peak of Mt Aoraki. This is depicted by the red background with a white placard above. The red background also represents the throat from which the greenstone originated, and in the essence symbolises the quality sound that comes from trained voices. The Music symbol on the greenstone is the official logo of the National Māori Choir.


Kakahu: (Costume) Wairakau Paia Waipara Memorial Trophy

Donor: Waipara whanau of Rongowhakaata

This throphy was presented at Rotorua 1996. The late Wairakau Waipapa QSM excelled in designing costumes, kete, kakahu, piupiu and whariki. The Waipapa whānau are privileged to offer this tāonga in her honour.

The Symbolism in the patterns is as follows:

  • Women’s pari: the bold pattern at the top is a mixture of colours and does not favour any Kapa Haka, hapu, whanau, iwi or rohe.
  • Men’s tapeka: is the bold pattern along the bottom of the trophy and is again, neutral
  • The festival: carved into the kauri centre piece are the concepts of kotahitanga, whanaungatanga and manaakitanga gathered together at the one time in one place in harmony
  • The numerous koru represent all of the Kapa Haka. The intertwining of the koru systems represent the ferocious Kapa Haka competitions at their best.


Kaitataki Tane: (Male Leader) Dr Bruce Gregory Trophy

Donor: Dr Bruce Gregory, MP, Northern Maori 1980-1993

This trophy was presented by Dr. Gregory as a gift from the heart and was intended for Maori who devote enormous time to Kapa Haka. The trophy is his contribution to the traditional Maori performing arts and the pursuit of excellence.


Kaitataki Wahine: (Female Leader) Kaitataki Wahine Korowai

Donor: Te Puia, New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute

Made by: Teresa Murray Fibre: Muka and Pukeko Feathers Design - Poutama Pattern



Titonga Waiata Hou: (Best original composition overall highest)
Ta Kingi Ihaka Memorial Trophy

Donor: Ihaka Whanau

Among all his other achievements, Sir Kingi Ihaka was the inaugural chairperson of the New Zealand Polynesian, and the then Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Festival National Committee. It was a position he held from 1972 – 1993, except for a period of two years when he resided in Sydney, Australia. Ta Kingi was a composer, writer of music, tutor and leader of such Kapa Haka as the Wairarapa Anglican, Putiki Wharanui, (Whanganui), Wellington Anglican and Auckland Anglican groups. He was also the second Maori Language Commissioner.


Te Kairangi o Te Reo (Excellence for Diction, Pronunciation and Content in Māori Language) Mobil Oil Te Reo Excellence Trophy

Donor: Mobil Oil New Zealand Ltd

This trophy represents Mobil’s commitment to supporting and fostering the arts in general and Maori art and language in particular. Mobil seeks to recognise those involved in ensuring a new generation of Maori approach fluency in te reo through te Kohanga Reo movement. In doing this, the company regards the resurgence of interest in the language as the key to cultural growth.