Mataatua Kapa Haka Regionals 2014

By Heeni Brown, Te Ao Māori News

More than 8000 people are expected to attend the Mataatua Kapahaka Regionals, an area that's long incorporated the Māori language as an aggregate item at their competitions, and Te Matatini is set to follow suit, as they incorporate the Māori language into their national competition for the first time next year.

Mataatua has officially celebrated the beginning of its regional competition.

Te Kahautu Maxwell, chair of Mataatua Kapa Haka, says, “Here is Mataatua at Ngā Kuri a Whārei here at Ohututaihi enjoying each others company, but by tomorrow, Mataatua will be trying to out perform each other.”

Mataatua regional competition has been running for a long time, and in 1997, they incorporated te reo Māori as an aggregate item, an item that counts towards your total. 

Te Kahautu says, “Mataatua were the first to do so in the regions, then after us were the primary and secondary schools.”

Te reo is only marked in one of the items at the Mataatua competition, but next year, Te Matatini will be marking te reo Māori as an aggregate item for the first time.

Te Matatini Chairman Herewini Parata says all judges will be responsible for marking te reo Māori and the judges who have been put into a category where the language requires them, it is that item only where they will be marking te reo Māori. 

However, for the Mataatua region only five groups will win a spot in the national Te Matatini competition.

This is the stage where the groups will compete in an attempt to vie for a spot to take them to the Te Matatini National Competition next year.

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