Topics: Kapa Haka, Te Matatini

Free gym pass for Te Matatini kaihaka

By Gloria (Korōria) Taumaunu
  • South Island

A fitness company behind an offer of free gym use for performers at next week’s Te Matatini says it looks forward to seeing kaihaka make use of its facilities.

Nearly 2000 performers from 13 regions throughout NZ and Australia are set to arrive in Christchurch next week for the bi-annual five day kapa haka event which starts on Wednesday.

The owner of Snap Fitness NZ, Korey Gibson says the arrival of the teams will “shake things up in the South Island.”

Performer and self-confessed fitness enthusiast Marcus Reihana from Auckland based group Ngā Tūmanako says fitness is vital as competitors are expected to give a 25 minute high impact performance, and for the nine teams fortunate enough to make the final round, a further 20 minutes.

“At the pinnacle [of competitive kapa haka] you need to be fit physically and mentally; and stamina is what you need if you want to do kapa haka” said Mr Reihana.

He says when his group arrives in Christchurch next Wednesday they will definitely be looking to take advantage.

“It’s an incredible offer for Ngāi Māori, it’s free and undoubtedly Ngā Tūmanako performers  will be there.”  

Mr Gibson has opened the doors of his six Christchurch gyms to all kaihaka with a performer’s pass during the hours when the gyms are staffed.  He says the offer doesn’t have a promotional angle, but comes from his “love for Te Reo Māori and kapa haka.”

 “I hope to see them [performers] in there with their team shirts on.”