One of the biggest highlights of the early 2015 Christchurch arts and cultural calendar was the national Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival at Hagley Park held on 4 – 8 March 2015.
The Festival played host to 1,600 performers plus their whanau, 40 judges, 1300 workers, 400 volunteers, 500 VIPs, 300 kaumatua and an audience of up to 30,000.
The goals of Nga Pakakihi Whakatekateka o Waitaha Cultural Council in hosting this Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival, which were supported by Rātā Foundation included:
- increase education and understanding of Maori traditional art forms and in particular showcase southern art forms, culture and kai (mutton birds, oysters, crayfish, tuna, mussels, whitebait etc);
- increase whanau participation in the art form of kapa haka;
- further promote positive relationships between Maori and non-Maori.