18 May 2023

'Absolutely over the moon': Te Matatini gets large funding boost in Budget 2023

4:57 pm on 18 May 2023

The biennial Kapa Haka Festival, Te Matatini has received a large boost in funding in this year's Budget.

The government is investing $34 million over two years, up from $2.9 million per year.

Te Matatini chief executive Carl Ross said staff at Te Matatini were jumping up and down with excitement at the announcement.

"We are absolutely over the moon, this is now providing the chance for Matatini to really expand and do what we need to do. As an organisation we welcome the boost in funding, and congratulate the government on acknowledging the significant contribution that kapa haka makes to our diverse communities."

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Willow-Jean Prime said the funding will help foster and support kapa haka in the regions.

Te Pikikōtuku o Ngāti Rongomai

Te Pikikōtuku o Ngāti Rongomai. Photo: Erica Sinclair Photography / Supplied / Te Matatini

"Te Matatini is more than just an event that takes place every two years. It is a reason for Māori to connect to their culture and support their wellbeing - ā hinengaro, ā wairua, ā tinana. In Māoridom, the price of wellbeing is not just in dollar value, it is knowing your whakapapa.

"This funding will continue to support the importance of culture in uplifting whānau in these recent difficult times and into the future," she said.

Ross said they will be opening 12 regional offices across the motu and establishing a liaison between the regions and Te Matatini.

"Seventy percent of this budget increase will be making it to our communities to use in their areas aligned with our agreed outputs from government and supported by our office to meet the compliance, so it's very very exciting going regional."

The funding boost will allow the regions to decide what they spend that money on, Ross said.

Whether that was funding secondary school kapa haka or for supporting kaumātua - so they are not just focusing on one national competition every two years, he said.

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