Māori Party promising to inject $27 million into Kapahaka

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Māori Party plans to put more than $27 million into the development of kapahaka if elected, including increasing Te Matatini's funding from $1.9 million to $19 million.

Waiariki Māori Party candidate Rawiri Waititi announced the Māori Party’s Toi Māori Policy on Saturday in Opōtiki.   

As well as promising to invest heavily in Te Matatini, the party said in a media statement that it will also invest a further $10 million into community, hapū and iwi development of kapahaka.

“Kapahaka is an incredibly powerful kaupapa. It is not just a performing art. It is a platform for the repository of our mātauranga Māori, our reo, our whakapapa, our history.

"Not only that, it supports physical health and mental health, it fosters connection, it teaches teamwork, it teaches problem-solving skills, it teaches our people how to build and manage relationships, it fosters resilience and encourages confidence. It is a one-stop-shop for oranga and needs to be treated as such," Waititi said in the statement.

The party said the policy is a direct response to funding inequities in the arts sector and based the significant increase in Te Matatini funding on the audience participation rate afforded to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

“It is an absolute insult that the Royal New Zealand Ballet receives $5 million and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra $16 million. Kapahaka is the international hallmark of Aotearoa’s identity, we are the best at Kapahaka in the world and we receive a measly $1.9 million from the Crown. It's time for change,” said Waititi.

“As a practitioner of Kapahaka at its highest standard, our goal is to maintain that standard as a world-class taonga but also to ensure that it is recognised for how significantly it contributes to our wellbeing as a people.”

The Māori Party said in the statement it is also promising to:

  • Establish an independent Toi Māori entity worth $57 million dedicated to the protection and projection of all Toi Māori. This entity will be funded directly by the government and will be based on a commissioning model.
  •  Make the new Toi Māori entity a statutory body on the Lottery Grants Board by 2023 that receives equal funding to Creative NZ.
  • Establish a research fund worth $10 million for the purpose of producing an evidence base for how Toi Māori contributes to oranga Māori, with the intention of Toi Māori being funded across all sectors equitably by 2023.