The 111-day countdown for Te Matatini is on and Wellington City Council is bracing themselves for the droves expected to hit the capital.
Te Matatini Society says they expect more than 60,000 spectators at Māoridom’s most iconic festival to be hosted in Wellington next February and council preparations are already underway.
Deputy Mayor Jill Day says, “We're going to have lots of activations across the city and we're going to make sure to encourage people to use our public transport while they're in Wellington."
Carl Ross, Te Matatini Executive Director says “We expect more than 60,000 spectators over the four-day event. So roughly 16,000 a day.”
Te Matatini will be hosted at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, which facilitates a 34,500 seat capacity. The event will include 300 lounge seats for kaumātua and a corporate lounge.
Ross says, “100 corporate tickets were sold in just one minute this morning, so that shows how much people are excited for the festival.”
Wellington last hosted Te Matatini in 1979. Wellington City Council is encouraging the public to the event which they say goes hand in hand with council aspirations to be a reo Māori city by 2040.
Day says, "We're looking at all the opportunities to help people to be here and be bilingual while they’re here so it’s going to be very much a promotion through that time."
General admission tickets have been on sale for two weeks with $40,000 worth of tickets already sold. Ross warns ticket buyers to get in quick on accommodation.