Thousands travelled to Christchurch to celebrate kapa haka at Te Matatini this year including, performers, supporters, businesses and manuhiri from across the nation and the world.
45 groups gave it their all on stage, with 9 selected to compete on finals day. Te Whānau-a-Apanui were crowned Te Matatini champions and Te Mātārae I Ōrehu and Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti came in at second equal.
The Waitaha Cultural Council, Christchurch City Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu released a statement thanking all those people that contributed to making Te Matatini 2015 a spectacular event.
Waitaha Cultural Council chair, Ranui Ngarimu says,“It has been a complete and utter pleasure and an honour to host the nation in Ōtautahi for Te Matatini.”
“To all the kaihaka,the team management , the whānau tautoko, and the public of Christchurch, thank you, thank you, thank you! We at Waitaha Cultural Council are so grateful for the opportunity we have had to manaaki you over the past four days. And to all the hundreds of fabulous volunteers who have given their time and efforts freely, a special thank you to each and every one of you.”
Huge crowds attended the biennial festival at Putaringamotu in a showcase of the best of Māori performing arts in the world.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the Christchurch City Council has embraced the festival theme He Ngākau Aroha.
“Our support of Te Matatini 2015 has enabled the city to show our thanks and aroha in a tangible way to all those people and communities that assisted during the earthquakes. I am so pleased that the festival has been so well attended and such a resounding success, my only regret is that it will be another 24 years before Christchurch gets to host Te Matatini again.”
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu kaiwhakahaere Ta Mark Solomon says Ngāi Tahu couldn’t be more pleased with how Te Matatini has gone.
“Most important for us has been the opportunity to reciprocate the manaakitanga and whanaungatanga extended to us during the earthquakes. This has only been able to happen through the hard work of the Waitaha Cultural Council, the Christchurch City Council and Te Matatini, and its partners. Our thanks goes out to the people of Christchurch who have embraced this event."
“However I must reserve my biggest thank you to the 45 teams from Aotearoa and Australia that brought us the best of the best in kapa haka – they were all amazing - and congratulations to Te Kapa Haka o Te Whanau a Apanui from Mataatua who were the top team this year."
Ngāti Kahungunu were gifted the Mauri o Te Matatini and will host the next Te Matatini in their rohe.