The NSW Maori Performing Arts Inc. will this year be hosting the Australian Kapa Haka Competition to be held in March 2014. Kapa Haka is a Maori performing art that includes song, dance, choreography, the use of traditional weaponry and other implements in one emotion filled group performance. All music, song and choreography are original and are composed specifically for this competition. Groups from WA, ACT, QLD, VIC and NSW will compete to gain the honour of travelling to New Zealand to represent Australia in the National competition known as Matatini (meaning many faces).
Matatini has a long history in New Zealand of showcasing amazing talent, beauty and style in performance, costume, music, dance and culture. It brings together people from all over the country after regional competitions are held in different locations covering the length and breadth of New Zealand. The Matatini format will be echoed in the upcoming event planned for March 2014 in NSW.
Last year ACT hosted the event in Canberra at Exhibition Park where approximately 4000 attendees watched and attended over two days of competition. 11 groups comprising of 36 performing members competed to represent Australia in the New Zealand event. During the event dignitaries included King Tuhaetia, the Maori King, New Zealand Member of Parliament Pita Sharples, and event patron New Zealand High Commissioner Martin Dunne among others.
Side attractions included traditional food, arts and wares for sale to the public. Other demonstrations included carving, tattoo, weaving and cooking which creates an event that is unique in that the culmination of these activities will not normally be seen together in one location outside of New Zealand.
NSW Maori Performing Arts offered to host next years event and are in the process of planning and researching event locations. It would be a great advantage to have the services of the college to assist in whatever resources can be made available to make our event a success.