Te Matatini to discuss funding increase

By Heta Gardiner

Funding more kapa haka groups to tour the world is one of several uses for the 50% plus increase in funding that Te Matatini has received.

The idea was floated today at the formal welcome for the new CEO for Te Matatini in Wellington.

The new CEO was welcomed with a formal welcome in dual languages.  However, it is the voice of the kapa that will be spread across the world as a result of the new funding secured by the organising committee.

Te Matatini chairman Selwyn Parata says, “Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti will be going to Taiwan in the coming months.  These are the types of trips we are looking to support to get kapa haka out to the world.”

This is the first indication of where the extra funding secured for Te Matatini will go.  It's an increase of $700,000.

Kapa haka exponent Tāpeta Wehi says “It’s a good thing.  However, I would like to see that funding equal that of the ballet.”

Wehi was one of the members who went to Scotland to perform at the Military Tattoo.  He agrees that sending groups overseas will be a good way to spend some of the extra funding.

Wehi says, “Some of us are half Scottish and half Māori.  When we stood to perform, many in the crowd were brought to tears.”

Despite this, he believes that some of the new money should go to the grassroots.

“Funding needs to go to all the regions, to all the groups.”

Te Matatini organisers will meet in the coming weeks to make a plan around the direction of the new funding.