Te Matatini Herenga Waka postponed until 2022

updated By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen, Te Ao - Māori News

The Te Matatini National Board has postponed the Te Matatini National Championships, from February next year until 2022.

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 that there were many concerns about staging the event as planned in 2021.

The board has identified three major concerns of the Kapa Haka and stakeholders:

  • the threat of community transmission of Covid-19 in Aotearoa
  • Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata 2021 being held in Tāmaki Makaurau and Tāmaki Makaurau being the gateway to Aotearoa
  • the current economic environment and the financial impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on Kapa Haka and Aotearoa whānui.

The proposed dates for Te Matatini 2022 at this stage are February 22-26, at Eden Park.

There are still concerns around the regions, especially those who selected their representatives without competition. It was noted in media coverage that it left some kapa upset over the outcome and even had some push back. 

Matatini chair Selwyn Parata said that he hadn't heard that. 

In order for groups to proceed to Matatini via competition they must have held their regional competitions before the end of September. However, when selecting their representatives, Te Taitokerau also unanimously decided that if the dates for Te Matatini were changed then they would cancel their decision and hold a regional decider. 

Parata told media that the board had exhausted all options and found postponement was the most viable.