Te Matatini: The ‘Olympics’ of kapa haka is coming to Auckland

The largest kapa haka event in the world, Te Matatini, kicks off on 22nd February 2023!

This vibrant festival will be held over four days at Eden Park, in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. This is the first time Te Matatini has been in Auckland since 2002, and it’s set to go off!

Held every two years, this is one of the most highly anticipated events for performers, their whānau and passionate kapa haka fans worldwide.

>>> Buy your tickets to Te Matatini.

Te Matatini

We will be able to showcase and celebrate Auckland’s unique Māori identity and encourage first-time or die-hard kapa haka fans to come along to Eden Park; or encourage local and global audiences to watch online to experience the joy of kapa haka. Along the way, we will all be contributing to the celebration and revitalisation of te reo Māori.

Nick Hill, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited CEO

For those that can’t be there in person, performances will be shared online on TVNZ.

And for those in Auckland, cultural activities will also be available across the city.

What is kapa haka?

Kapa haka is the main art form through which Māori access and express their cultural identity. It shares their beautiful language (te reo Māori), expressing unique narratives through waiata (song), haka (war dance) and dance.

Kapa haka groups around the world look forward to Te Matatini as an opportunity to showcase the best of the best. What’s more, this will be the 50th celebration of this amazing festival!

This is such a significant kaupapa Māori event, one that really celebrates our culture, our language and our people. Following the postponement of Te Matatini 2021, it is wonderful to once again see and feel the haka hype as Te Ao Māori prepares to experience the best kapa haka the world has to offer at this legacy event. 

Marama Royal, Chair of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust

The benefits of kapa haka

Kapa haka is an art form that spans generations and, increasingly, inspires and calls to young non-Māori, too.

Te Matatini Chief Executive, Carl Ross, explains that this is because joining a kapa haka group brings all the benefits of belonging to a highly disciplined and creative team. Not to mention the sheer joy and beauty inherent in the art form.

Kapa haka provides a strong foundation for Māori development in “all aspects of life”.

Indeed, evidence shows that kapa haka benefits health, academic achievement and finance. Not to mention the significant revitalisation of te reo Māori.

Now that’s an art form that should be celebrated!

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