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Tizard: Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival

Judith Tizard

3 September, 2008
Beehive Launch for 2009 Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival

Māori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia and Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, Judith Tizard hosted the launch of the 2009 Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival at Parliament today.

“Te Matatini means ‘the many faces’ and the significance of the organisation’s biennial kapa haka festival is that it brings together young and old, Māori and non-Māori, participants and observers,” said Parekura Horomia.

The 2009 festival will be held in Tauranga from 19-22 February. In the twelve months leading up to the national event 100 teams will have competed at 14 regional competitions, including one in Australia, to qualify.

“Performers devote hours of practice to reach the high standards required for this competition. Teams must perform a range of dance, song and storytelling to entertain and move their audiences. They could not do this without the support of their whanau and community.

“The Labour-led government is pleased to support Te Matatini in its work to promote kapa haka throughout New Zealand and internationally,” said Judith Tizard.

Te Matatini was established to focus on the long-term development of Maori performance. It receives government funding ($1.25 million this year) to support activities like national kapa haka competitions, Māori performance in schools, and workshops and master classes.

“Strengthening Māori performing arts at local and national levels has led to representation at international events and a growing profile worldwide for Māori culture. This has had a very positive impact in a number of ways, including attracting overseas visitors to New Zealand,” said Judith Tizard.

“The Te Matatini festival is a high point on our cultural events calendar. Not only is it a superb showcase for our most talented and hard-working performers but it is also an opportunity to understand and celebrate the tikanga of different iwi,” said Parekura Horomia.

The last national kapa haka festival, held in Palmerston North in 2007, attracted an audience of over 40,000 people. The supreme winner was the East Coast Kapa Haka group, Whangara-mai-Tawhiti.


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