The Te Matatini Festival will reach its largest ever audience this year as TVNZ brings the whole event to TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+.
Television viewers be able to watch the performances live and tune in to Te Matatini’s Haka Translate service to hear translations and the meaning of compositions of all the waiata in English.
On the last day, Haka Translate will be available in five additional languages: Mandarin, Tongan, Samoan, Fijian and Cook Island Māori, via the Matatini Festival app.
Aotearoa's top kapa haka talent will compete as part of the bi-annual event.
It marks 50 years of Aotearoa's largest kapa haka and cultural festival, set to take place at the end of February.
After being cancelled multiple times over the past few years due to Covid-19, there will be 45 teams competing, including one from Australia.
TVNZ is one of the event partners, with Aotearoa Kapa Haka Limited, Pango Productions and funding from Te Māngai Pāho also part of bringing the event to life.
Te Reo Tātaki TVNZ’s Manukura Māori, Scotty Morrison, and Mātai Smith will lead the presenting line-up, alongside Seven Sharp's Te Rauhiringa Brown, Sunday’s Tāmati Rimene-Sproat, and Stephanie Fong from Te Karere.
The festival will take place from February 22-25.
Te Reo Tātaki TVNZ’s Deputy Content Director Nevak Rogers said they're proud to be the exclusive broadcast partner for Te Matatini Herenga Waka, Herenga Tangata.
“We know Te Matatini will capture the hearts and minds of not just Te Ao Māori but all of Aotearoa.”However, this isn't the first time the country's largest cultural festival was aired on television.
Te Matatini last screened exclusively on TVNZ 20 years ago, where it had aired since its inception in 1972.
The festival brings together the traditions and stories of hapū, iwi and waka, while placing great emphasis on originality and diverse expressions of Māori artistry within the kapa haka disciplines.
Chairperson of Te Matatini Selwyn Parata said they're excited to partner with TVNZ to bring kapa haka to new audiences who have never been exposed to the artform.
“It’s vital we platform Te Matatini so there can be a better collective knowledge of the power and purpose of kapa haka amongst our general population and society.”
It's set to be held at Auckland's Ngā Ana Wai Eden Park, with anticipation for this year’s festival to be the largest crowd the event has seen.