Te Matatini ki te Ao tickets in high demand

By Regan Paranihi

The biennial national Māori performing arts festival, dubbed Te Matatini ki te Ao this year, is fast approaching and organisers are encouraging the public to get in quick to secure their tickets while they still can.

This year the event will be held at the Wellington Westpac Stadium and Mayor Justin Lester says locals need to show their support.

“I encourage Wellingtonians to get behind one of the best events of the year.  This is the pinnacle event for kapa haka in the country and is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see this event in our city.”

It has been 40 years since the competition was held in the capital city and 21 years since it was in the wider Wellington region.

Te Matatini chief executive Carl Ross says corporate tickets are in high demand.

“Tickets to the Te Matatini corporate lounges sold out in less than a minute after being released.”

Ross adds, “ However, unfortunately, because of this interest, some of our whānau have fallen victim to ticket scalping via the Viagogo website, some paying over double the normal ticket price.”

Viagogo says their website is a platform for people to resell their tickets, in which some cases the price can be higher than the original price.

"All tickets on viagogo are valid and it is perfectly legal to resell a ticket or give it to someone else if you want to. viagogo is a marketplace and doesn’t buy or sell tickets. viagogo does not set ticket prices, sellers set their own prices, which may be above or below the original face value. Where demand is high and tickets are limited, prices increase.” ​​​​

WREDA Events and Experiences general manager Warrick Dent says the economic and social impact will be spread across the whole region despite the festival being held in Wellington city.

“Teams and their supporters are staying in a range of accommodation including hotels, motels, and marae in all corners of the region.  This will see the region, not just the city, come alive with Māori ahurea and live up to Wellington’s reputation as the capital of culture.”

Over 60,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event and Ross encourages people wishing to attend to purchase their tickets form the official Ticketek website to avoid any scams.

The event will take place from the 21–24 of February.

See the official website for more information.