Reo assessment criteria to be determined for Te Matatini

By Harata Brown

A Matatini working group have met at Waikato University to determine the criteria that will be used to judge the fluency of the Māori language at the Matatini Kapa Haka Festival 2017 in Hastings.

Reo advocate and Matatini judge Pania Papa says the purpose of the meeting is to ensure that the assessment criteria is the right criteria.

Veterans of tikanga, reo and kapa haka gathered to discuss solutions that give Māori language an integral place in competitive kapa haka.

"Half of the personnel present are kapa haka experts, the other half are reo Māori experts and through that diversity it is hoped that we can find the right criteria that benefits both,” says Papa.

Te reo Māori became an aggregate item at Te Matatini in Christchurch earlier this year.

Judges assessed performances on several aspects including the verbal performance and quality of compositions.  Mataatua regional delegate Te Kāhautu Maxwell says they hope to determine a more fluid process to enable the judges to assess the written language.

“Today we will determine how much weight will be given to te reo Māori in the overall pool of aggregate marks,” says Maxwell.

Once recommendations have been made, findings will be communicated to all Matatini delegates.

Papa says giving importance to the quality of te reo in kapa kaka will ensure that the Māori world view is upheld.

“If the criteria isn't right, if the Māori world view is also taken out of context, than the ideology of what it means to be Māori can diminish in today's day and age,” says Papa.     

The full assessment criteria for te reo in kapa haka is expected to be announced in November.