Kapa haka enthusiasts living outside of New Zealand and Australia will have a small price to pay if they want to watch the livestream of the Te Matatini Festival this year, as Aotearoa Kapa Haka Limited is providing a paid-per-view option that could cost you up to US$40 to watch the entire four-day coverage.
Willie Te Aho is the brains behind a scheme that's extending kapa haka's reach out to the world.
He says, “Via the internet, you just need to select the tab and you'll get a message asking if you would pay the fee, US$10, to watch one full day. So that's the price you pay if you stay outside of New Zealand and Australia.” It's a project that stemmed from the National Secondary School Kapa Haka competition last year.
Executive Director of Te Matatini Darrin Apanui says, “Because of the success at the national secondary schools, and also what followed in the Tamararo Primary's later in that year, we saw an excellent opportunity to test it on the biggest stage and in the biggest competition which is Te Matatini competition.”
Whānau in New Zealand and Australia will be able to access live coverage free of charge via Māori Television.
Māori Television's Haunui Royal explains, “Days 1-3 will be broadcast live on the Te Reo channel. The final day will be broadcast on the Māori Television channel. The livestream coverage will be simultaneously broadcast on www.māoritelevision.com in New Zealand and Australia.”
For interntional kapa haka performer Lewis Whaitiri living in London, the opportunity to stay connected to his culture is priceless.
He says, “We just found out it will cost $10 to watch every day. I was shocked at first but because we live in a commercial world, I don't really mind. I would definitely pay to help support Te Matatini, Māori businesses and companies. No doubt we'll all get together here in London and watch it.”
Te Matatini is just over a month away, and only then we will find out if the new venture is a success or not.