The decision to postpone Te Matatini 2022 was a sad one for the National Board to make.
Te Matatini Tainui delegate Paraone Gloyne says after the decision was made, “there wasn’t any elation in the room.”
“It was quite solemn and, although we believe we made the best decision, we were sad we had to make the decision but it was in the best interest of ngā kapa haka.”
The board, in consultation with Kapa Haka and strategic partners including Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, the Tāmaki host committee, Auckland Council, Auckland Public Health, Eden Park and government agencies found there were many concerns about staging the event as planned in 2021.
Gloyne says the decision hasn’t only affected performers but also many others.
“When we talk about kapa haka you’re talking about everybody and anything connected to that kapa haka. So a group brings a community, not only the performers and of course the tutors, the composers, the sewers, the cooks, the mums and dads, the dads that stay home, the mums that stay home to look after the kids, all the nannies, he says.
“So the kapa haka is a community. It’s not just the 40 people on the stage.”
Social media 'noise'
The rule stands that regional competitions must be completed or teams from each region must be submitted by September 30.
Gloyne says there has been some “noise” on social media questioning whether regional dates should also be extended and if the other regions that have already taken the option to pick their teams should have a competition.
“Those people making those comments are not aware of the pressures on us, on the rohe that didn’t have our regionals," Gloyne says.
“It’s a challenge even when you’re in campaign and when you do that over the rāhui period it was a whole other dynamic. Some teams didn’t have access to internet.”
He says starting repeating another regional competition is not an option.
“I acknowledge the regionals that complete their regionals. They had their regionals, that’s fair. Let them have their rest. A lot goes into a bracket, a composition. You’re asking, as I said, a whole community to come together and put a whole other bracket together. It’s a whole six months of practising or more getting a waiata together. So no, I don’t think a clean slate is the answer.”
The board is made up of delegates from each of the 13 affiliated rohe and chairperson. In making their decision, they identified three major concerns of the Kapa Haka and stakeholders.
They included the threat of community transmission of Covid-19 in Aotearoa; the current economic environment and the financial impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on Kapa Haka and Aotearoa whānui and Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata 2021 being held in Auckland.
The proposed dates for Te Matatini 2022 are February 22 to 26, at Eden Park.