Rehua Marae was packed out on Wednesday, 11 June, for the much-anticipated Te Matatini 2015 National Kapa Haka Festival live pool draw for team performances.

Waitaha Cultural Council chair Ranui Ngarimu says it was very exciting to be announcing the pool and order of performance for the 45 teams.

“Waitaha Cultural Council is proud to be hosting Te Matatini Festival 2015, the world’s largest celebration of Māori performing arts, with the support of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Christchurch City Council. Te Matatini will awaken the pride of all iwi in the south – it will be our chance to say thank you for the support after the earthquakes.”

With the festival line-up confirmed, Waitaha can get in behind and fully support its groups. On Day One, Thursday 5 March 2015, the third-placed regional Waitaha team Te Pao a Tahu will be third up on the stage, ahead of Tāmaki Makaurau team Te Waka Huia, followed by the second placed regional finalist team, Te Ahikōmau a Hamoterangi. Make sure you are in early to save your seats ready for a Waitaha morning.

Ngā Manu a Tāne, our Waitaha regional winners, will be the eighth team performing, early afternoon on the final day of heats (Saturday 7 March). Note this in your diary, as we want a huge home crowd cheering on our groups.

It was a big day at Rehua and we were happy to host our Matatini delegates, who attended their governance meetings during the day and presided over the live draw that night.

There was an awesome turnout from whānau and the waiata nearly raised the roof. In a first for Te Matatini, the draw was streamed live on the Te Matatini website (you can view the full pool draw at; and Tahu FM, broadcast live to an audience of more than 600,000 through its Sky digital channel 505, frequencies in Kaikōura, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill and via www. live web-streaming.

Waitaha was also able to give a hosting progress update to Te Matatini, on planning for the 2015 event. Regional qualifying competitions were completed last month, with the final performances taking place in Rangitāne. Forty-five teams have been confirmed to compete in 2015, up from 42 last year, making 2015 the largest Te Matatini ever.

A big focus for Waitaha now is arranging accommodation for our competing teams. We have confirmed accommodation for 32 teams to date but we are still looking to house another 13 teams. Please whānau, have a think about where we can find marae-style, communal accommodation, with facilities for manuhiri to prepare and share kai, and practice together. Please email
[email protected] with your contacts, leads and ideas. Our goal is to have all our teams accommodated by the end of June.

As part of our hosting responsibility, each of the competing teams will have a local kapa haka liaison – 30 have already been identified. We have also had 250 volunteer kaimahi register on-line. This is a great response and we encourage you to spread the word so that we reach our target of 450 volunteer kaimahi. Please encourage whānau to register at or free phone 0800 KAI TAHU.

Host training for our kaimahi volunteers is currently in development and we will be in contact toward the end of the year, when we start to allocate jobs.

Our aspirations for Te Matatini 2015 will require investment, so we are actively seeking funding and applying to various funding agencies as well as seeking sponsorship support.

Please email [email protected] if you can help in this area. That’s it for now, and don’t forget to encourage whānau to sign up as kaimahi volunteers or free phone 0800 KAI TAHU.

Waitaha CC flyers alt

Waitaha Cultural Council chair Ranui Ngarimu and Christchurch Mayor Leanne Dalziel.

Waitaha Cultural Council chair Ranui Ngarimu and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

The live draw attracted a big crowd to Rehua Marae.

The live draw attracted a big crowd to Rehua Marae.