• Jack Elder
Internal Affairs

The Minister of Internal Affairs and chairman of the Lottery Grants Board, Jack Elder, has approved a grant of $35,000 from his Lottery Discretionary Fund for the Hoani Waititi Kura Kapa Haka group to perform in Shanghai next month.

The group has been invited to perform at the opening of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra's new season, under guest conductor Gary Verne, director of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

The group sought $50,000 to fund the trip but Mr Elder said he decided $35,000 was appropriate.

"Usually groups are expected to provide some funding themselves," Mr Elder said, "and the discretionary fund is not bottomless.

"But I am confident the exposure this group will generate to millions of Chinese through its performances and via television and other media will be of considerable benefit to New Zealand."

The Kapa Haka group is four-time winner of the annual Auckland Kapa Haka Mäori cultural contest. The performers include daughters of the Minister of Mäori Affairs, Tau Henare, and Te Tai Hauauru MP, Tuku Morgan.

The group will also perform at the opening of the New Zealand Immigration Service's new Shanghai office, a New Zealand education fair in Shanghai and an official Chinese formal dinner.