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Dates announced for Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2017

Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2017 the pre-eminent competition attracting performers from both New Zealand and Australia is to be held 22 – 26 February 2017 in Kahungunu, Hawkes Bay.

Te Matatini National Committee has announced the dates to ensure plenty of time for people to make arrangements for the Festival.

“This is the 23rd Festival in the history of Te Matatini and confirming the dates early allows the host region to start imperative planning and preparations for what is now considered a world class event,” said Te Matatini chairman Selwyn Parata.

He said the next most vital step is to work with the hosts on their proposed venue to ensure it meets all the needs of the Festival and can cater for 30,000 spectators, and 2000 performers.

Te Matatini Society Executive Director Darrin Apanui says planning and preparing for the Festival takes every little bit of the two years the host region has.

“We’re talking about infrastructure required of a venue; local and regional sponsorship; assessing catering and accommodation needs; security; staging; radio and television broadcasting; and training for a volunteer workforce.

“This is an exciting time to begin preparations and given the enthusiasm of Kahungunu we are confident they will be up to the challenge.

Darrin Apanui said the Waitaha region and Ngāi Tahu lifted the bar in terms of manaaki by making sure all the performers and supporters who made the trek to Christchurch received a great reception and were well taken care of.

“Kahungunu is an iwi that is no stranger to hosting and running large events. With their experience, we expect they will set the bar even higher for 2017 and will build on the manaaki and success of the last Festival.”

The Festival was last held in Kahungunu in 1983 and is the country’s foremost competition to encourage the development of traditional Māori performing arts throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Updated on 23rd July 2015