For the first time kapa haka has been showcased at the World-class facility Vector Arena. Today the Auckland kapa haka regionals used the venue as a trial for the 2021 Te Matatini.
As the crowd streamed into Vector Arena for the Tāmaki Makaurau Regionals there was a sense that this was the start of something new.
Spectator, Makaira Berry says in the past families have struggled to secure tickets because the previous venues have been too small. But this venue allows more people to attend which is great.
In the back of the performers minds is the possibility Vector Arena could be a venue for Te Matatini in 2021. Vector Arena can hold up to 12,000 people.
Tapeta Wehi of Te Waka Huia, “If there's a competition happening here in Auckland this is a perfect venue to host certain cultural events. And this is our first time.”
Discussions for a Te Matatini venue have begun. By the time Te Waka Huia stepped out onto the stage the benefits of hosting this event at Vector Arena were apparent.
Tapeta Wehi says, “ We felt the energy of this facility and knowing that this is the central hub for international concerts. So we're very fortunate. “
Meanwhile Ngarimu Blair of Ngāti Whātua says Vector Arena could play host to the event.
“Ngāti Whātua are pleased that the competition is coming back here, and we could use this place or Bastion Point. The marae is already discussing whether we take it back there.”
Today 17 teams competed for 5 places to compete at Te Matatini in Ngati Kahungunu next year.
The winners and groups who will represent Auckland at Te Matatini next year are expected to be announced later tonight.