Topic: Kapa Haka

Carvers honoured to be a part of Te Matatini

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

With Ngāti Kahungunu set to host Matatini in just a couple of weeks, there is a lot of work that is going on behind the scenes. In a building called Tu Aka on the east side of Hastings, a small group of carvers are making big things for the festival venue.  

They're working around the clock in the weeks leading up to Te Matatini,  "Although the workload is quite heavy and it's very tiring I'm sure that the rewards of being able to show our manaakitanga to te iwi Māori will be a huge privilege and an honour to be a part of that," says Charles Paringatai.

The workshop is full of equipment and large wooden pieces that have been fashioned into the shape of a kahu. 

Under construction also is the wahaora, which will greet all manuhiri that arrive at the venue, Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, and wit will be 5m in height and 12m wide.

"The whole kaupapa behind it is obviously the theme of the Matatini, Te Kahu o Te Amorangi so our waharoa design along with the whakatauki Heretaunga ararau haukunui haaro te kahu takoto noa incorporates that whole theme."

It has been a collaborative effort to make the vision a reality, eight months in the making from the original design concept to the present.

"Even though budgets and timeframes are quite tight we don't make that an excuse in order to show quality and manaakitanga to our manuhiri."

It's the first time Te Matatini has been hosted in Heretaunga since 1983 and more than 15,000 people a day will be in attendance.