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MPs welcome Maori performing arts festival

24 February 2005

MPs welcome Maori performing arts festival

Te Matatini, New Zealand's premier festival for Maori performing arts was set to be a huge success for New Zealand's arts community and for the Manawatu, Palmerston North MP Steve Maharey and Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard said today.

Te Matatini, which means 'The Many Faces', showcases the national kapa haka competition. The four-day festival is government funded through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and will be held at the Arena Manawatu (Stadium), in Palmerston North.

The festival will feature over 1200 performers, from winning groups selected from 14 regional kapa haka competitions throughout New Zealand and Australia. The performers will compete in all aspects of Maori performing arts' disciplines.

"It’s inspiring to see how the festival has expanded to include a wide range of community, culture, art, music and youth activities," said Judith Tizard.

"The development of Te Matatini shows how the arts and cultural sectors in New Zealand are thriving. Maori art plays a vital role in the enrichment of our cultural identity. Te Matatini offers a unique cultural experience and illustrates the sheer passion that drives our creative people.

"Running an event of this size takes a huge commitment of time, energy and resources and I congratulate all those who are providing a platform for New Zealand performers to nurture their talents and careers," said Judith Tizard.

Steve Maharey said the festival was great news for Palmerston North.

"The festival is the latest event that allows us to highlight the great things happening in our city," Steve Maharey said. "I hope that we can attract more events like this that attract thousands of New Zealanders to Palmerston North and give local people the chance to enjoy performances from some of the country's best talents."

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS

Thursday 24 February 2005 1:30 – 2:30pm: Powhiri (Official welcome). 8:00pm: Opening Pageant. (Gates open from 7:00pm).

Friday, 25 February 2005 Arena opens 8.00am. Competition runs from 9.00am – 10.00pm with breaks for lunch and dinner.

Saturday, 26 February 2005 Arena opens 8.00am. Competition runs from 9.00am – 10.00pm with breaks for lunch and dinner. Top six finalists will be announced at the completion of the evening.

Sunday, 27 February 2005 The Finals. The top six finalists are judged anew. Arena opens 9.00am. Competition runs from 11.00am - 3.00pm.

ENDS


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