Te Matatini mahau arrives

IMG_1959 xxxFour containers holding the Te Matatini mahau arrived in Hagley Park this morning.

The mahau (front porch) will be erected to frame the main stage for Te Matatini 2015, which will feature 45 kapa haka teams from throughout New Zealand, competing in a 4-day festival from March 4-8. The arrival of the containers signals the final passing over of the Te Matatini mauri to 2015 hosts, the Waitaha Cultural Council and the beginning of the site build..

Jointly owned by Te Matatini Society Incorporated and the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, it is one of the largest Māori carvings in New Zealand. It is made from native timbers, including an ancient kauri, and it was carved by Institute carvers over a six month period. It spans 30 metres, is over 13 metres high and weighs 26 tons.

A whakatau to welcome the mahau onto Hagley Park was held this morning (Monday, February 23).

Te Matatini – the largest celebration of traditional Māori performing arts – begins on March 4 and is expected to attract a crowd of over 30,000 people for its four-day duration. The festival is hosted by the Waitaha Cultural Council and is supported by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Christchurch City Council.