The biggest kapa haka festival in the world Te Matatini is set to get an extra $700,000 from this year's Budget, a boost of more than 50% from last year's funding.
The week long Te Matatini festival attracts around 50,000 kapa haka enthusiasts to the live stage performances.
Te Matatini Chair Herewini Parata told Te Kāea, “We see that we are moving forward in sharing kapa haka with the world, so the government is now more supportive of Te Matatini.”
Chairwoman for the Ngati Kahungunu Runanga Arts and Culture Board, Narelle Huata put forth a challenge, “This is my challenge to Maggie Barry that is certainly not the end, and it’s just the beginning to get us up to the same level as the Royal New Zealand Ballet. That's my challenge to her.”
Today's Budget announcement means the Te Matatini Society will get a total of $1.9mil in funding.
Last year, Te Matatini received $1.2mil a year from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and yet it pumps around $20mil into local economies.
Minister of Arts Culture & Heritage, Maggie Barry says, “It will enable the kapahaka organisations around NZ of which there are about 130 or so at the moment to grow by 50 groups per year.”
The Royal New Zealand will get $5.4mil. Although only a 23% increase, it's still more than double that of Te Matatini.