Te Matatini, the national kapa haka competition, has received a substantial and long-awaited funding boost in Budget 2023.
Associate Arts Minister Willow-Jean Prime said an additional $34 million over two years would ensure equitable funding of the event.
The event was previously funded to the tune of only $2.9 million annually after a $1 million top-up in last year's budget.
“Te Matatini is more than just an event that takes place every two years. It is a reason for Māori to connect to their culture and support their wellbeing – ā hinengaro, ā wairua, ā tinana," Prime said today.
"In Māoridom, the price of wellbeing is not just in dollar value, it is knowing your whakapapa.
"This funding will continue to support the importance of culture in uplifting whānau in these recent difficult times and into the future."
She said the investment would help deliver the next Te Matatini in 2025.
"Our investment of $34 million over two years ensures that this kaupapa is funded in an equitable way, embedding a rohe-based Kapa Haka network and assisting across the motu to plan for the future and achieve the vision of Te Matatini - Mana motuhake ki te kāinga. Matatū, Mataora, Matatini ki te ao"
"This new investment builds on the hard mahi over the past year to solidify the foundations for Te Matatini to expand from a biennial, national festival, to also foster and support kapa haka in our regions," the minister said.
It comes after Te Pāti Māori called on the Government to raise funding for the event, which saw record viewership earlier this year.