The ‘Te Mauri o Matatini’ stones representing the hosting rights has been handed over at Kahungunu Park today to the 2019 hosts, Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
The last time Whanganui-a-Tara hosted the festival was back in 1998 at the Trentham race course in Upper Hutt. The completion back then was formerly known as the Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts Festival and Waihirere were the supreme champions that year.
‘Te Mauri o Matatini’ features two stones on a carved foundation. The red mauri stone comes from the Ruahine Ranges and was gifted to Te Matatini in 2009 by Rangitane. The larger stone is come from the Tauranga Moana region and is known as Tuhua (Obsidian). Tuhua is a protective stone and acts as a guardian for the mauri stone. And the carved foundation comes from the Whakatōhea region.
After Gisbourne hosted the Nationals in 2013 a new ballot system rolled out that pre-selected the hosts until 2039.
- 2019 - Te-Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington)
- 2021 - Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland)
- 2023 - Aotea (Taranaki / Whanganui)
- 2025 - Te Tau Ihu (Nelson / Marlborough)
- 2027 - Tainui (Waikato)
- 2029 - Te Taitokerau (Northland)
- 2031 - Rangitaane (Manawatu / Wairarapa)
- 2033 - Mataatua (Bay of Plenty)
- 2035 - Te Tairawhiti (Gisborne)
- 2037 - Te Arawa (Rotorua)
- 2039 - Waitaha (Christchurch)