Supporting and developing Māori leadership and community engagement while promoting excellence and innovation in Māori performing arts is behind a new agreement signed by the University of Waikato.
The University has signed an agreement formalising its strategic partnership with New Zealand’s premier Māori cultural performing arts festival, Te Matatini. The University and Te Matatini have developed the partnership over six years with the common purpose of promoting excellence in Māori performing arts.
Promoting excellence in Māori performing arts
The partnership ties in with the University’s commitment to having a strong and positive presence in Māori events and complements the fact that many staff and students have been involved in Te Matatini as organisers, judges or performers.
Last year’s Te Matatini in Rotorua included senior law lecturer Matiu Dickson and tikanga expert Professor Pou Temara as judges while numerous other staff members took the stage with groups from around the country.
Developing and enhancing Māori distinctiveness
University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the University’s strategic 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.”
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) Professor Linda Smith, also Dean of the School of Māori and Pacific Development, says strategic partnerships such as that with Te Matatini help strengthen the University’s ties with Māori.
“Not only is Te Matatini an important event, but it gives us the opportunity to celebrate Māori,” she says.
“This partnership clearly signals the University of Waikato’s ongoing and significant commitment to Māori and I look forward to seeing the benefits of our relationship grow in years to come.”
Te Matatini Chair, Herewini Parata, says he is proud to be associated with the University of Waikato.
“When we looked for a strategic partner we wanted to ensure that they subscribed to the same kaupapa as our organisation,” he says.
“Te Matatini is about excellence in kapa haka, the University of Waikato is about excellence in education so we therefore have a natural fit.”
Growing the relationship
“In 2009 the University of Waikato became a major sponsor of Te Matatini and since that time we have forged a special relationship with the University and in particular Professor Smith.”
The strategic partnership will allow both parties to grow that relationship, he says.
“We are able to share wider opportunities beyond the national festival. From access to our networks and regional festivals to research opportunities that look at kapa haka’s contribution to New Zealand’s society,” Mr Parata says.
The next Te Matatini Festival is being held in Christchurch in 2015.
For more information on Te Matatini, visit www.tematatini.co.nz