Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the groups performing at this year’s Te Matatini kapa haka festival will excite, inspire and challenge opinions about te ao Māori as they compete on the world stage.
“Te Matatini is the biggest event that showcases Te Ao Māori to the world,” says Mahuta.
Over the weekend, 46 groups from New Zealand and Australia who have made it through their respective regional competitions will compete for the grand prize of Te Toa Whakaihuwaka at this year’s Te Matatini festival being held in Wellington, 20-24 February.
“The Te Matatini kapa haka festival reflects many of the government’s priorities for Māori and New Zealand. It is a platform for the revitalisation of te reo Māori and a path to improve well-being, re-connect with hapū and iwi, and creates a space for young Māori to emerge as leaders.”
The theme of the 2019 festival is 'Te Matatini ki te Ao', which means 'Te Matatini to the world'. The theme promotes the status of Te Matatini as a world-class festival and a global stage for Māori performance excellence featuring the very best in competitive kapa haka.
“I want to acknowledge the whānau and kaimahi who support their rangatahi and partners through the many months of preparation, practise and competition, and I want to acknowledge the performers for their passion and dedication to ensuring kapa haka flourishes from the grassroots to the international stage,” says Mahuta.
“Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.”