Four days of incredible kapa haka performances came to an end this afternoon with the naming of Auckland group Te Waka Huia as winners of Te Matatini 2013 National Championship at Rotorua International Stadium.
The 15,000-strong crowd gave Te Waka Huia, which has been competing in Te Matatini since 1986, a standing ovation as they collected their prize from Te Matatini chairman, Selwyn Parata, and the Governor General, Sir Jerry Mateparae. This year is the fifth time that Te Waka Huia has won the coveted prize, the Duncan McIntyre Trophy.
Third place went to three teams:
- Tu Te Manawa Maurea (Tairawhiti)
- Te Iti Kahurangi (Waikato)
- Whangara Mai Tawhiti (Tairawhiti).
Second place was awarded to a Mataatua competitor, Te Whanau a Apanui.
In announcing the winners, Mr Parata congratulated all teams in this years competition, adding that the crowd had been treated to quality performances that have raised the bar for future competing kapa haka teams.
The performers come to Matatini to compete, and it shows in their language, in the execution of each item, and in the quality of their performances, including those who have come to compete for the first time, he said.
Mr Parata also commended the number of new teams competing. There a real desire from groups in all the rohe (areas) to get involved in kapa haka in their regional competition because thats the path to this national event. And I can see theres a strong desire by the performers to improve their knowledge and understanding of te reo me nga tikanga (language and culture).
The event was not without controversy, with a very public show of displeasure by TVNZ’s Marae Investigates in numerous negative-leaning questions asked to their facebook fans.
While New Zealand’s two mainstream broadcasters, TV3 and TVNZ were both banned on different days for breaching a variety of media rules. TV3 we understand did a live broadcast on their 6pm news show, showing 26 seconds of the stage area resulting in a 24 hour media ban.
TVNZ’s Maori news programme, Te Karere programme was caught interviewing people in an area that was off limits to broadcasters, thereby receiving a total interview ban for the duration of the festival.
Media outlets with an online presence such as NZ Herald, Rotorua Daily Post and our own TangataWhenua.com received official requests from Te Matatini regarding distribution and use of event photos in places like Facebook (a report on that later), leading us to believe that the rules were being made on the hop and in an ad hoc manner, resulting in unknown breaches and unnecessary confusion.
The result of the strict news rules resulted in almost invisible coverage of Te Matatini within a mainstream media space, meaning while Te Ao Maori was informed, engaged and excited, non-Maori were left in the dark and missed learning about one of the most anticipated and inspiring cultural events of the year.
- The next Te Matatini festival will be held in 2015 in Otautahi (Christchurch).