Partnering with Te Matatini: The University of Waikato will again be a strategic partner of this year’s Te Matatini festival. Pictured is Waikato-based group Ngā Pou o Roto performing at Te Matatini o Te Ra 2011. Photo: Darrell Ahuriri. All images are published with the permission of Te Matatini Society Incorporated.
The University of Waikato is once again a strategic partner of Te Matatini - New Zealand’s national kapa haka competition and premier Māori cultural performing arts festival held in Rotorua this month.
With a history spanning 41 years the biennial competitions will see more than 40 kapa haka teams with performers from New Zealand and Australia compete on stage. Waikato University staff and students will be performing at the event, and other staff members are judging.
Commitment to Māori
University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the University’s partnership with Te Matatini is part of an on-going commitment to developing and enhancing its Māori distinctiveness.
“The University has always sought to establish and build relationships not only with local iwi and iwi of Te Rōpu Manukura, but with many other iwi across New Zealand.”
“The level of dedication and excellence that is displayed by many of our staff and students at Te Matatini are standards that we encourage across the university.”
University ties with Māori
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) Professor Linda Smith, also Dean of the School of Māori and Pacific Development, says partnerships such as that with Te Matatini, help strengthen the university’s ties with Māori. Professor Smith was recently named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Māori and education.
“Part of the university’s plan is to provide a distinctive contribution to the University of Waikato experience for both staff and students, which draws on kaupapa Māori, the heritage of our region and our relationships with Waikato Tainui and the different iwi of our staff, students and regions,” she says.
Opportunity to celebrate Māori
“Not only is Te Matatini an important event for our region, but it will give us the opportunity to celebrate Māori. I am looking forward to hosting people at Te Matatini and showcasing the talents of our staff and students.”
Waikato University student ambassadors will also have a strong presence at the festival, and though the academic year starts 25 February, Professor Smith says there’s still a chance for students to enrol in B Semester.
“Many potential students feel they may have missed out on enrolment, but there is still ample opportunity to enrol for B Semester which starts in July. Our student ambassadors will be available during the festival to provide information for those who are thinking about studying at Waikato University.”
Te Matatini will take place at the Rotorua International Stadium, 20-24 February. For more information visit the official Te Matatini website.
View more information on the University’s involvement at Te Matatini.