13 May 2015

Te Matatini venue plans develop

7:58 pm on 13 May 2015

The Hastings District Council is backing a Hawkes Bay iwi's choice of venue for the next Te Matatini national kapa haka festival in 2017.

Te Matatini

Te Matatini Photo: RNZ

Ngāti Kahungunu is working with the council and Te Matatini to secure the site, which will cater for thousands of spectators during the three-day event.

Now that the 2017 dates in February have been announced, Ngāti Kahungunu's preparations for the huge cultural festival have started in earnest as to where exactly it should be held.

The executive director of Te Matatini, Darrin Apanui, said the tribe had submitted a proposal, but he said before that was confirmed, the iwi, the Hastings District Council and Te Matatini society needed to consider other options.

"We've been talking to Ngāti Kahungunu following their presentation about how they would like to host Te Matatini 2017," Mr Apanui said.

"And in their presentation to Te Matatini, they provided a proposed venue, and what we now have to do is work with them to have a look at that venue, and all of the other opportunities that are available with that venue, and maybe other potential venues."

Darrin Apanui said there were two kinds of venues for prospective hosts to consider.

He said while Ngāti Kahungunu's choice was similar in style to the one used in Christchurch's Hagley Park, it planned to hold it at a sports stadium.

The Hawkes Bay Regional Sports Park, the proposed venue for Te Matatini 2017 in Hastings.

The Hawkes Bay Regional Sports Park, the proposed venue for Te Matatini 2017 in Hastings. Photo: eventfinder.co.nz

"The proposed venue that Kahungunu have with us is inside a stadium.

"So that's the reason why we've got two models now: we've got a stadium-type approach business model and now what we call a green fields business model, where we just need a bare block of land with some facilities close to or beside it, and then we can look at what's the best options for Te Matatini going forward."

The Ngāti Kahungunu tribal chair, Ngāhiwi Tomoana, said his iwi was in favour of a popular venue that it used every year for other festivals that catered well for crowds and was easily accessible from the Napier-Hastings expressway.

"[It's] the Regional Sports Park and it is on the main highway between Napier and Hastings," Mr Tomoana said.

"[It's] 10 minutes from Hastings [and] 15 minutes from Napier. Every Waitangi Day we host about 10 to 15,000 people so we know it works. We've had regional kapa haka there, so there's plenty of room. What we're offering up is also rough camping for people who want to come and put their tents up because there's plenty [of] ablutions around the facility."

The Hastings District Mayor, Lawrence Yule, said his council was right behind the event and supported the tribe's choice of venue.

"The venue for Te Matatini is just on the edge of Hastings towards Napier. We will be talking to other councils [Napier City and Hawkes Bay Regional councils] in the lead up to the 2017 event, but at the moment we've sort of taken the lead on it."

The Ngāti Kahungunui tribal chair, Ngāhiwi Tomoana, said more than 100 marae between Wairoa and Masterton will be upgraded to host thousands of manuhiri.

He said the iwi was also working with Hawkes Bay Tourism to ensure that there were no clashes with other events happening on the 22nd to 26th of February in 2017.

Mr Tomoana hoped that the event would not only highlight the festival, but showcase the whole of the Hawkes Bay region.