Preparations for the country’s pre-eminent Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2015 are now in full swing with the organisers and hosts confirming accommodation arrangements in Christchurch.
For more than 1800 performers and 400 registered volunteers needed to help bring the massive event to life, accommodation has been secured. Te Matatini chairman Selwyn Parata says the sheer logistics related to securing accommodation and attracting volunteers was an extraordinary feat for a city in the middle of a rebuild.
He said it showed the awesome dedication and generosity of local people and organisations to stage the event – which is widely regarded as showcasing the world’s finest performers and attracting tens of thousands of fans and supporters from all over the country.
Each of the 45 performing teams and their support crew are being accommodated in homes, hotels, marae and billets throughout Christchurch. The picturesque North Hagley Park will provide the backdrop for Te Matatini Festival, 4-8 March 2015.
Local volunteers will be trained prior to the Festival to fulfil their role hosting the event; preparing food; setting up the venue and assisting with the logistics related to the stage and performers.
In addition to the performers and volunteers a 1,300 strong workforce will also be involved in setting up the massive infrastructure for the Festival and staffing an arts and crafts, entertainment and exhibition area.
Though organised and produced by Te Matatini Management Committee, the four day event is hosted by Waitaha Cultural Council with support from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Christchurch City Council.
The theme of the festival - He Ngākau Aroha ‘A Loving Heart’ - was chosen by the hosts as an acknowledgement of the manaaki and whānaungatanga shown to Christchurch following the earthquakes.
Te Matatini chairperson Selwyn Parata described the Festival as a rare opportunity for Te Waipounamu and encourages all cultures, backgrounds and ages to join in and celebrate an extraordinary staging of kapa haka and Māori culture.
Festival goers will also have access to a radio programme English translation live service Hakarongo Mai which will provide free to air English commentary of all the kapa haka performances.
The Festival was last held in Christchurch in 1972 at QE11 stadium, now demolished due to earthquake damage. To get early-bird ticket prices go to www.tematatini.co.nz, these expire midnight 31 December 2014.
Updated on 23rd July 2015