Mana whenua welcome thousands to Pōneke

updated By Te Ao Māori News

Waitangi Park in Wellington's CBD is filled to the brim with thousands of kaihaka and kapa haka supporters, all in town and in a festive spirit for Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019.

The four-day event kicked off with the official pōwhiri this morning where iwi Te Atiawa Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Ngāti Raukawa welcomed the masses.

The Māori King, Kingi Potatau Te Wherowhero VII Tuheitia Paki is in attendance, as well as iwi leaders, Parliamentary officials and visiting dignitaries from other countries.

In the preparations for the massive pōhiri, kaumātua from across the region shared their experiences with Te Kāea about the lead-up.

Ngāti Pōneke life member Donas Nathan says, “We’re looking forward to welcoming all the groups from around Aotearoa.”

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Tomorrow performances kick off with the TE IHU section, with the gates opening at 7am, karakia off the stage at 8am.

Māori Television is livestreaming each day via Māori Television and, Te Kāea will have your Te Matatini news updates throughout the event via and the Te Kāea facebook page.