Nanaia Mahuta along with a group from Waikato received a welcome this morning. This is the first big Māori event she's attended since being sworn in as Māori Development Minister and she mentioned that today also marks Parekura Horomia's birthday which she says is significant considering this competition began in his time as Minister of Māori Development.
Mahuta attends her first big Māori event since being sworn in as Minister of Māori Development.
“Seeing our kids up on the stage, projecting their voices and expressing their thoughts, we've seen them represent their regions and their iwi, it's great.”
Behind the scenes, more than 200 workers are busy making sure everything runs smoothly.
Volunteer Samantha Cotter says, “Awesome work from all of our whānau here and we're all her for our kids."
Te Mana Kuratahi chairman Jack Te Moana hopes the government continues to support events like this.
“The performers at Te Mana Kuratahi, from all groups, they're the youth of tomorrow, they're also the future performers for Te Matatini.”
Mahuta says events like these provide a platform for cultural expression and are pivotal in the development of Māori.
“New Zealand can see that the Māori spirit thrives through these types of events, through kapa haka.”
It costs over a million dollars to run an event like this, most of the funding for Te Mana Kuratahi was attained through sponsorship.
Tomorrow is the last day of the competition, with seven groups still to perform. The results will be announced just after 1pm.