An eerie mist hung over North Hagley Park for the first morning of Te Matatini 2015 competition.
Committed kapa haka fans arrived early, as soon as the gates opened at 7am, all vying for the best spots and wrapping themselves in coats and blankets. One pair announced “We’re from Perth, this is cold for us,” but the others soon found out that when Ōtautahi gets hot, it gets really hot (nudging 30-degrees by afternoon).
As the first team took the stage – Te Kapa Haka o Kairanga – the crowd cheered and the competition was on. By the time the two Waitaha teams – Te Pao a Tane and Te Ahikōmau a Hamoterangi – took the stage, the sun was out and the atmosphere was heating up.
A happy crowd of over 5,000 packed out the venue and for those wanting a diversion from competition, there were numerous healthy kai stalls, a vibrant marketplace, arts and traditional crafts, a large and popular kids area and numerous trade displays and Te Kaika Waiora Health Village.
The action continues tomorrow (Friday), featuring Pool 2 competition.
Check out our photos from Day 2 of Te Matatini 2015 below.