Te Matatini 2021 Eden Park planning well underway

By Tema Hemi

The handing over of the mantle for Te Matatini marks a two-year-long planning schedule for the next host for 2021, and that responsibility falls upon Ngāti Whātua in the Auckland area.

Hosting a Te Matatini festival is never an easy feat, but Ngāt Whātua has the experience of previously hosting in 2002.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei's Renata Blair says, "It's a big day for us to receive this honour of hosting Tāmaki 2021. It's a big day for ourselves, Waikato-Tainui and all the groups of the Auckland region to coordinate the Te Matatini Festival."

At the completion of the 2002 Te Matatini Festival, the organising committee went over its budget by $900,000. 

Blair says, "They have sited QBE Stadium, Mt Smart Stadium, and the famous Eden Park. But it's up to Selwyn Parata and the committee to make that decision."

Ngāti Whātua will not want a repeat of that.   

"We won't be going down that path again. We will ensure the festival has all the benefits for all the Māori communities in the Auckland region," says Blair.

Ngāti Whātua has financial support from different Auckland entities to help finance the next festival.

"There's Ngāti Whātua, the Tainui people, the Auckland regional kapa haka committee who will be assisting us and also some of the businesses we work closely with like some of the banks and others," explains Blair.

Te Matatini 2021 will be held at Eden Park.