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Kia rite! Te Matatini!

Kia rite whanau. It’s haka time. Labour congratulates the 47 kapa haka teams competing in Te Matatini - the Olympics of Maori performing arts which begins today, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“After years training, a record 47 teams from all over the country have gathered in Ngati Kahungungu in Hastings to battle it out for the much coveted champion title.

“With an estimated crowd of 35,000, I’m looking forward to the fierce competition and catching up with friends and whanau who travel the length of the mōtu to support their teams.

“Te Matatini is the biggest event in the Māori calendar and is a celebration of Māori culture that exemplifies the unique identity of each hāpu and iwi.

“The event is this year being hosted by Meka Whaitiri’s Ngati Kahungungu iwi who are preparing for the biggest crowd since 1972.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Peeni Henare shine as he returns to his on-stage master of ceremonies role.

“It’s emotional and exciting to experience the collaboration of choreography, waiata, haka and powerful messaging that often includes shout outs to iwi leaders and politicians.

“Travel safely whanau and kia kaha competitors,” says Kelvin Davis.