National | Funding

Te Matatini funding level ‘offensive’ - Te Pāti Māori

Te Pāti Māori are reigniting calls for a significant injection of funding into Te Matatini.

“The first step to colonising any country begins with the active destruction of indigenous story tellers and custodians of knowledge. It happened here through legislation like The Native Schools Act and The Tohunga Suppression Act to name a few. So it makes sense that investment into these areas is crucial for our healing and our re-indigenisation,” Te Pāti Māori said in a statement.

Under the party’s Toi Māori Policy released last year it would commit $19m to Te Matatini and a further $10m to community, hapū and iwi development of kapa haka and its accompanying art forms.

“The inequities in funding is an absolute joke!” the party says.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra receive $16.3m and The Royal New Zealand Ballet $5.4m each year. This compares to $1.9m for Te Matatini.

“If Te Matatini was funded at the same audience participation rate as the NZSO, Te Matatini would be allocated $19 million.”

Te Pāti Māori says Te Matatini consistently outperforms both the orchestra and ballet on target audience measures.

Kapa haka has one of the largest audiences in Aotearoa, it says.

With Labour’s Kiritapu Allen the Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Te Pāti Māori says, “we’re hopeful that the indigenous culture of this country will at the very least be resourced appropriately.”

“Kapa haka is the library to our world as Māori. Within kapa haka sits our academic research, our science, our history, our art, our whakapapa and our tikanga. It is a training ground for future custodians of our indigenous knowledge. It also has the power to unite Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti.”