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March 4, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Te Matatini ki te Ao

Wellington was home to Te Matatini ki te Ao last week, one of the country’s most significant cultural festivals of Māoridom.

Held biannually, the festival provides an opportunity to explore Te Ao Māori.

46 Kapa Haka rōpū dedicated months to represent their whānau, hapū, iwi, rohe and tūpuna over the four-day festival.

With thousands descending on Taranaki rohe, Wellington City was packed with Kapa Haka fans from around the world.

The Ngā Hua a Tāne Rore Report outlines the importance of Te Matatini in keeping Māori culture, language, and stories alive. The festival acts as a platform for rōpū to acknowledge the past and continuing pain and triumphs, the political issues of the time, whakapapa and the mana of tangata whenua.

Te Arawa and Waikato Tainui were well represented in the top nine rankings, with three groups from each rohe.

The five-time Te Matatini champions Te Waka Huia were dropped from the top nine for the first time since the rōpū was founded in 1981 by Kapa Haka legends Dr. Ngapo Wehi and his wife, the late Pimia Wehi.

With a continual rise in the standard of performances each year, first-time winners Ngā Tūmanako took home the Toa Whakahuwaka award.

Ngā Tūmanako was originally founded for and by Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae students in Auckland. The Marae has a continuous focus on using their platform to promote the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori and culture.

However, the Ngā Hua a Tāne Rore report also identifies that Matatini is not just a celebration for Māoridom, but for all of Aotearoa. The platform can teach our country’s history, the sacrifice it has taken to get to where we are today, and visions and hopes for the future.


Te Matatini ki te Ao will next be held in Tāmaki Makaurau in 2021.

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