Topics: Entertainment, Politics

Should govt boost Te Matatini funds for role in revitalising te reo?

By Talisa Kupenga
  • Wellington

Te Matatini kapa haka festival is the biggest platform to showcase Māori culture worldwide but does it receive enough Government support given its contribution to revitalising the Māori language.

Te Matatini's #Aheiha launch encourages people to give Te Reo Māori a go. Featuring three new songs to the tune of three Queen hits, its part of the event's Māori language strategy Te Mita Tini. 

Te Matatini Chairman Selwyn Parata says "Oh yes Queen. There are many Queens among us. It will appeal to the youth."

Te Matatini Tainui Delegate Paraone Gloyne says "The Māori language is alive on the haka stage what we're hoping is that through aheiha this helps further disperse the language."

Te Matatini receives nearly $2-million in funding from government and its combined audience reach is estimated to be more than 1-million.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet receives more than $5-million in funding and its 75 live performances are estimated to reach 4.1-million. 

Parata says "the Crown does supports Te Matatini. I know that if we keep creating the projects that will elevate Matatini that the funding will come from Government to support the revitalisation of our language."

Government aims to have one million people speaking a basic level of Māori by 2040.

Te Kāea asked the Māori Development Minister whether or not Te Matatini should receive more support knowing it’s a significant platform for promoting the Māori language.

Minister Mahuta says "that's what we're asking for but we'll have to wait for the budget."

Te Matatini kicks off next week.