Top tips for Te Matatini spectators

By Jessica Tyson
Spectators watch Te Matatini 2017. Photo source: File

A very important part of attending Te Matatini is making sure you have a prime spot to sit and watch your whānau perform, especially since there’s expected to be 60,000 of spectators attending.

Loyal Te Matatini spectator Tenga Rangitauira has made a list of tips for spectators this year.

He says he and his crew have been “hardcore Matatini spectators”.

“Those people that line up one hour before the gates open, those people that take turns running to save a spot for the (wider) whānau, those people that barely move all day coz we've packed everything we need for the duration of a Matatini day...and we love it!”

But this year he won’t be spectating. Instead, he’ll be performing on stage so is sharing his secret tips to those wanting to continue his legacy.

Here are some of his top tips, “for those 2019 hardcore spectators sitting on the grass”.

Nominate an early bird

Rangitauira says you should nominate one person every morning to get up early and line up, about an hour before the gates open. 

“This may very well be the biggest responsibility of the day so he/she basically gets treated like a king all day, if they got a good spot. I suggest 1.5 hours on finals.”

Someone fast and vicious should be nominated “because slow people always get there last,” he says.

Kai, wai and chilly bins

People should bring chilly bins “of yum as kai,” says Rangitauira.

“I always baked my caramel slice that would last the whole week and you save a lot of money this way.”

He says it must be yum kai though or you'll end up buying kai there and “you should also freeze your water the night before so it'll stay cold all day”.

Watch your position

Rangitauira says to not sit too close to the front of stage “because you won't see the chory.

“Make sure you take a low seat, not high or you'll have to sit way at the back, with a back to lean on.”

Watch out for those sun rays

Rangitauira says spectators should take an umbrella.

“No, not for the rain but to block the sun while you're waiting for groups to come on.”

And don't dare try and keep it up during group performances, he says.

“Slip, slop, slap that sunscreen so you get browner and browner by the hour.”

He also advises people to wear shorts and singlets to get a tan.

If you want to have a moe

If you want to sleep during the performances, one of Rangitauira’s favourite tips is to take a neck-rest pillow.

Avoid the sneaky guys

Rangitauira says if some of your whānau and friends “ain't playing the game, dodge them at all cost!”

He’s referring to those people who “roll up” just before the first group starts, squeeze their belongings on your tarp, eat your kai then take off before clean up time.