20 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: Three kapa haka regional competitions postponed

1:28 pm on 20 March 2020

Three upcoming kapa haka regional competitions have been postponed amid the threat of Covid-19.

Powhiri for Te Matatini at Waitangi Park 20 February 2019

Powhiri for Te Matatini at Waitangi Park, February 2019. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

They include the Aotea regionals this weekend, the Te Tai Tokerau regionals next weekend, and the Tainui regionals on 18 April.

The Tainui competition will now go ahead on 29 August, and no new dates have been confirmed for Aotea or Te Tai Tokerau.

Earlier in the week, it was announced that the Te Tai Tokerau regionals were going to go ahead without any spectators or crowds.

Te Kaahui Maunga Committee, which earlier this week agreed to live stream the Aotea competition, said in a statement the evolving situation meant it would be irresponsible to proceed with the initial plan.

"Covid-19 continues to evolve and with this in light it would be unthinkable and irresponsible to proceed given the ongoing risk to the health, safety and well-being of all our whānau, which is paramount."

The Waitangi Cultural Trust, which governs the Te Tai Tokerau Competition, also released a statement saying it too was concerned for people's safety.

"We are deeply concerned with the current health pandemic gripping the world and are particularly worried about the impact of Covid-19 on our whānau and our communities in Te Tai Tokerau.

"We believe that it is urgent and imperative that we continue to exercise bold and decisive leadership on behalf of our kapa haka."

Each kapa haka committee has assured its people they will provide regular updates on social media and online channels.