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Kapa Haka Festival Will Promote New Zealand

28 November 2001

Associate Tourism Minister Parekura Horomia said tonight’s launch of the biennial Kapa Haka festival in Auckland highlights the potential earning power of Maori culture for New Zealand.

Kapa Haka 2002, while being formally launched tonight, will be hosted by Ngati Whatua o Orakei at Bastion Point during the weekend of February 22-24 next year.

Mr Horomia said he was pleased to hear that Temuera Morrison is hosting tonight’s function as Tem has been a regular member of Ngati Rangiwewehi, consistently one of the top three groups in the national competition.

“Tonight’s launch will give Auckland three months to create interest nationally and internationally in the largest Maori cultural festival in New Zealand, with a potential spin-off worth possibly $20 million to the local economy.

Mr Horomia said he has attended every Aotearoa Maori Performing Arts festival since its inception in 1972.

“The festival regularly attracts audiences of 30–40 thousand, but more are expected for the Auckland event. I hope that many non-Maori, from New Zealand and further afield, take the opportunity next year to watch some of New Zealand’s best performers”.

The associate minister of Tourism pointed to the Prime Minister’s recent two week trip to South America, where the accompanying kapa haka (Maori cultural group) attracted significant media and community interest.

“The group helped boost the profile of the New Zealand group, by grabbing headlines and pictures in the local media. People were interested in the language, the performances and even the hongi. The uniqueness of Maori culture and tikanga can clearly help build bridges when developing relationships with other countries.”


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