The Matatini Society has confirmed Sport Park Hawke's Bay as the venue for the 2017 Te Matatini and that it can handle the demands of hosting a world-class event of this scale.
Sport Park Hawke's Bay has eight fields, 18 netball courts, parking for 500 cars and extensive ablution facilities.
The Ngāti Kahungunu Arts & Culture Board chairwoman, Narelle Huata says they’re fortunate to host this event, “The Ngāti Kahungunu Arts and Culture Board have been working for a long time to make this happen for our iwi.”
Most importantly, the stage has been set with great acoustics that will not disrupt the whole Matatini experience for the audience.
Ngahiwi Tomoana, the Ngati Kahungunu chairman told Te Kāea, “At first, they were worried that it wouldn't be quite the right venue for Te Matatini next year. But they came and had a look for themselves and they've officially sanctioned it for 2017.”
45 kapa haka groups will take centre stage. It's a sight that hasn't been seen in the area since 1983, the last time Kahungunu was the host.
“Since 2005 right up until the present day, this has been a dream of my father, Tama Turanga Huata, and my uncle, Te Rangi Huata. They've really been pushing for this and we're so pleased,” says Huata.
Matatini is the biggest competitive kapa haka event in the world and runs from February 22 to February 26.