Tūhoe Hui Ahurei and Mataatua Kapa Haka regionals to combine

By Te Ao Māori News, Wepiha Te Kanawa

Tūhoe have agreed to combine their unique biennial festival with the Mataatua Kapa Haka regionals in Ruatoki next Easter.  The move has come as a surprise to some but the chairs of both committees say the distinct nature of both events won't be affected.

Pou Temara, the Chairman of the Tūhoe Ahurei Committee Te Manatū Ahurea, has confirmed they will combine their festival with the Mataatua Kapa Haka regionals next year.

He said, "It's difficult to source funding for both events and also for Tūhoe it's even harder to source funding for the Tūhoe festival.  So that's the main task for us."

At a meeting over the weekend, Mataatua Regional Committee and Te Manatū Ahurea debated the decision.

Temara explains that, "Tūhoe are finding an avenue to enable them to manage both events."

A long-held tradition has been for the seven regions of Mataatua to host the biennial Mataatua Kapa Haka event, next year the hosting duties go to Tūhoe. 

Te Kaahautu Maxwell says, "In addition to that, who are Mataatua to oppose Tūhoe's proposal knowing this is a big task of responsibility. They are managing the event."

The Tūhoe Festival is one of the forerunners to run an event that specifically judge on tribal traditions and customs, like the wero and karanga.  Pou says the change will not impact on specific Tūhoe disciplines.

"If performers want to enter into the Mataatua competition, the judges will make their decisions based on the six items performed," says Temara.

On October 8, the seven trustees of Te Manatū Ahurea will meet to elect a new chair and a committee to discuss how to successfully run the event.