Māori unite to get Te Matatini into swing

Rotorua locals have come together to host the country and 30,000 people are expected to attend the Matatini festival over the next four days.

With haka being the focus of the week, it leaves little time for anything else, so we decided to spend some time with the workers behind the scenes?

From first light in the morning, the hosts were preparing food for the masses, helping ensure a successful Te Matatini.

One of those tireless workers Timi Te Po Hohepa says “Everyone has worked hard to prepare the food and ensure our Matatini guests are fed. 

Hospitality is a priority in Māori customs and over 1000 volunteers from the Te Arawa region have given up their work this week to assist in the overall running of Te Matatini.

Operations Manager, Tia Smith says “the big focus is on getting everyone through the gates safely getting everyone into the parking lot safely and quickly because  everyones anxious to get to watch their group and we want to make sure there are no delays.”

For the past 18 months, the hosts have been preparing for this event with 60,000 people expected to attend over the four day event. 

Mr Hohepa says, “It's hard work hosting and feeding our guests, but apart from that, it's been relatively easy.”

Ms Smith says, “its all about us hosting all our manuhiri who have arrived here to Rotorua for the next four days.  The Te Arawa people and volunteers have given up their mahi to come here and make sure that everyones having an awesome time today.”

Good work behind the scenes will help ensure a successful event.