Celebrating an illustrious 50 years of kapa haka and waiata at Te Matatini

Arts, Culture and Heritage

The world’s largest kapa haka festival Te Matatini has thrived over its 50-year journey, showcasing the brilliance of Māori performing arts and world-leading kaihaka. 

“I join the extensive Te Matatini whānau throughout Aotearoa New Zealand in celebrating the half-century of enriching kapa haka that has become one of the country’s most important stages for Māori performing arts,” Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan said. 

“The flourishing of traditional Māori performing arts is essential to the cultural identity of our nation. With the first festival held in 1972 – won by Gisborne-based group, Waihīrere – this kaupapa has achieved immense growth throughout its history. 

“I’m excited about the upcoming launch of the 50-song album, web series, documentary and book, which capture the 50-year journey of Te Matatini and some of the leading personalities connected to the kaupapa. 

“I am confident this festival’s prestigious platform will continue to safeguard the mauri of kapa haka and inspire future generations of kaihaka to come. I look forward to seeing another 50 years of marvellous performance – in particular from the East Coast!” said Kiri Allan.