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Manatū Taonga standing alongside Te Matatini

Media release: 23 February 2017

Kapa haka is a powerful and positive expression of who we are as New Zealanders and we proudly support the biennial Te Matatini Festival being held this year in Hastings, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive Paul James said today.

“Kapa haka is integral and unique to our New Zealand identity cutting through cultural boundaries and connecting us to our stories and places,” Paul James said.

“More than just a performance, kapa haka contributes to our national identity both here and overseas. And agencies like Te Matatini have an important role in Māori language revitalisation at the flax roots and on the national stage.

 “A truly whanau/family event, appropriately the theme for this year’s festival is He Ngākau Aroha ‘A Loving Heart’.

Visit our tent at Te Matatini 2017 along with colleagues from Creative New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

“With teams from throughout New Zealand and one from Australia the ongoing value and growth of kapa haka is demonstrated by the huge participation and spectator involvement in the Hastings festival.

“Te Matatini is a fantastic opportunity for New Zealanders and visitors alike to see

Māori culture and performing arts at their best. Hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu, an iwi with a reputation for abundance, there will be great kaimoana, plus food from the land, and a great atmosphere. We encourage people to get along.

“As the core funder of Te Matatini we are delighted this festival looks a real success both for the kapa haka art form and for the Hawkes Bay.  The increase of funding from $1.2 million to $1.9 million in last year’s Budget enables Te Matatini to do more both nationally and internationally.

“This links strongly with the Ministry’s drive to support Māori cultural aspirations through our evolving work with Te Mātāwai, the new organisation responsible for leading the revitalisation of te reo Māori, and the iwi settlement protocol agreements we negotiate as further commitment to enduring Crown/Iwi relationships.

Prime Minister Bill English visiting the Ministry's tent at Te Matatini.

 “We are at the festival to stand alongside Te Matatini as we value its work and all it brings to Aotearoa and New Zealanders,” Paul James said.

Updated on 27th February 2017