Nelson/Whakatū plans to host Te Matatini 2025

By Aroha Mane

Two teams from Nelson/Whakatū have been selected to represent the Te Tauihu region at Te Matatini 2021 here in Auckland. The region is aiming to host Te Matatini in 2025 and they are determined to increase group participation at a regional level.

A new group Te Kura Tai Waka and an old favourite Kia Ngāwari are the two teams who will represent Te Tauihu at Te Matatini 2021.

Tom Arlesana, the Matatini representative for the region, says part of their hosting plan includes increasing the number of regional teams.

“In 2015 Darren Apanui and Selwyn Parata came to meet us in Nelson and encouraged us to increase our regional group participation.”

Alesana says they have a few challenges ahead.

“In 2018 our numbers increased to four, this year it went up to five and now we want to see that number increase to seven or nine in 2022 so that three teams from Te Tauihu will go through.”

Te Tauihu have never hosted Te Matatini but are confident they are more than capable.

“Te Tauihu is the smallest region in the Matatini competition but we love kapa haka. Next year, we'll be hosting Mana Kuratahi the national primary competition and the following year we'll be hosting the secondary schools competition. So we have a bit of training and upskill before the big Matatini event.”

Te Matatini 2021 will be in Auckland, and Te Matatini 2023 will be held in Whanganui.