Possible funding boost for kapa haka in Budget 2016

By Taroi Black

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Maggie Barry has told Te Kāea that the government will allocate more funding to kapa haka.

She told Te Kāea, she believes kapa haka is unique to New Zealand and more investment is needed.

Maggie Barry says, "I am very much in favour of them getting more funding to do what they have told me they would like to do. So I have been pushing hard to have consideration of more funding for kapa haka.'

However when questioned over a possible figure in terms of budget increase, the Minister responded with, "Im not able to discuss anything within the budget round at this stage."

Kapa haka notably contributes to the country's profile.

Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe has criticised the government about the lack of funding in the past.

Rurawhe says, “My own anecdotal feedback from people that I've had is that this is something the whole country can benefit from. So why not? Its an amazing kaupapa, that we should be supporting.”

Since the establishment of Te Matatini in 2004, the government has invested $1.2 million in kapa haka annually.

Labour says if they were in government, funding would look bright for kapa haka.

Rurawhe says, “it's something that our Māori caucus is going to push hard for and I believe its something that will have benefits for all of the country.”

Maggie Barry dismissed his statement saying, "There are always going to be opposition MPs who will always say we want more money for everything because that's what you do when you're in opposition apparently. So I'm not particularly taking any notice of his observations because I have been engaged with Te Matatini as the Minister on my own counts for the 18 months that I've held the portfolio."

The 2016 Budget is scheduled for next Thursday.