Wellington receive hosting rights for Te Matatini 2019

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

The mauri stones of the Matatini festival received a grand welcome onto Waiwhetu Marae in the Capital City.  But with Wellington being home to three iwi, the question is whose kawa will be followed for Te Matatini 2019.

The mauri of Te Matatini has been warmly accepted by Te Whanganui a Tara. 

Kura Moeahu Deputy chairman of The Wellington Māori Cultural Society says, Te Tiamana Tuarua o te Tū Tāwhara o Te Whanganui-ā-Tara. “The challenge has been laid for us here in the Wellington region and how we host Te Matatini. There are six groups from Wellington that stand at Te Matatini. There is a lot of work ahead of us.

There a three major Iwi within the Wellington region, Ngāti Raukawa Te au ki te Tonga, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira. The cultural society of Wellington say that, by having multiple tribes associated with Te Matatini, it brings a diverse approach.

Moeahu says, “If you look at our genealogy, we are all family, and we know the protocol for each iwi. The challenge for the society will be where Te Matatini will be hosted. That’s a matter for the society to sort out, this isn't just a call to Te Ātiawa, and Ngāti Toa, it is a call of support to all of Wellington to get involved.”

The mauri stones carry the mana of Te Matatini festival and currently it will stay with Te Ātiawa at Waiwhetu Marae, but there are suggestions of moving it around the region.

Moeahu says, “The last week that has passed we looked into places that it could be held. We spoke about Trentham being an option, Fraser Park, on that side of Te Rauparaha, at the cake tin, we are looking forward to the stress and excitement that is coming.”

The Māori Cultural Society are hoping to have more discussions with Ngāti Kahungunu soon to talk about their strategy, and how they can implement it into their own for Te Matatini 2019.