National | Kapa haka

60,000 attend Te Matatini 2019

Ngā Tūmanako are the overall winners at Te Matatini 2019. Source: Māori TV

Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019 proved itself as one of the most significant cultural events in Aotearoa as more than 60,000 people headed to Pōneke for the four-day event, according to the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Chairman Chris Laidlaw says performers, whānau and fans travelled far and wide and an excellent team of volunteers made sure that they felt welcome.

“Te Matatini showed how we can bring people together and share our language, stories, arts and culture with the world.  This was a true international level event.”

Performers from 46 groups entertained crowds with split-second choreography, strong heart and voice showing why the biennial festival is considered the pinnacle for Māori performing arts.

Kapa Ngā Tūmanako from Tāmaki Makaurau will be waking up this morning to a great feeling of achievement after winning the overall title at Te Matatini 2019, Te Toa Whakaihuwaka.

Te Matatini ki te Ao Champions - Ngā Tumanako!

Posted by Te Matatini Society Incorporated on Sunday, February 24, 2019

The next Te Matatini in 2021 is now set to be held in Tāmaki Makaurau, marking a two-year-long planning schedule for the next host, Ngāti Whātua, who last hosted in 2002.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei's Renata Blair says, "It's a big day for us to receive this honour of hosting Tāmaki 2021.  It's a big day for ourselves, Waikato-Tainui and all the groups of the Auckland region to coordinate the Te Matatini Festival."

Laidlaw says, “Te Matatini should serve as an example for other event organisers on how to bring people into a region and care for them. The =council hopes that Te Matatini returns to the region in the future.”