6 Mar 2015

Rain fails to dampen Te Matatini

6:25 pm on 6 March 2015

After a sunny start to Te Matatini yesterday, the rain didn't deter the crowds from turning up en masse in a cheerful spirit to support their home teams.

Day two of the national Māori performing arts festival kicked off this morning at Christchurch's Hagley Park.

Te Matatini spectators wearing raincoats and ponchos to keep themselves dry.

Te Matatini spectators wearing raincoats and ponchos to keep themselves dry. Photo: RNZ / Eru Rerekura

After a bout of showers this morning, the sun came out just after midday to light up the stage again.

People came from everywhere, not only from Aotearoa, but from as far afield as Switzerland to experience the wairua (vibe) of what's been described as the Olympics of Māori performing arts.

A volunteer at the event from South Canterbury said after a dry summer it was a blessing to see some rain.

"Definitely a good day and definitely the weather has really picked up now... It was bucketing down this morning," he said.

"Definitely a good vibe down around here and it's good to see a lot of the school kids coming out and supporting it too and a lot of families, and it's good."

A spectator who lives in Christchurch, who was originally from Tauranga, said it was great to see heaps of his whanaunga at Te Matatini, even though it got off to a soggy start.

"Wet, wet and now it's hot and I think it's going to be wet again later," he said.

"Just good to see everyone from Tauranga here today too, supporting our group that was on this morning."

A women who came to the festival from Rotorua said she wasn't bothered by the inclement weather and that she was just excited to be there.

"Oh it's been awesome... Rain, hail or snow, nothing was going to keep me and my mokos (grandchildren) away today", she said.

"I've come here to tautoko (support) our roopu (teams) from there (Te Arawa region) so I haven't got one favourite, they're all my favourites."

A couple from Europe on holiday in Christchurch came across Te Matatini "by accident" and were amazed by the Māori performing arts on stage.

"We're from Switzerland actually and it's pretty cool and very impressive, it's good fun," he said.

Te Manu Kōrihi asked the tourist how he found out about the event.

"By accident, to be honest [they just happened to stumble across it when they were exploring Christchurch], but it's very exciting and the weather has brightened up so it's perfect."

Day three of the event starts just before 9am tomorrow and, like today, MetService is forecasting a period of rain in the morning and a chance of an afternoon shower with temperatures in the early 20s.

A team from the Aotea region, which includes Taranaki and Whanganui, Tuutuu Kaa'ika, is the first kapa to perform on Saturday morning.

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