Arts / Canberra celebrates Māori culture

Tumanako Māori Cultural Group

THE National Kapa Haka Festival in Canberra this weekend will be a grand celebration of Māori performing arts.

This Friday (March 9), New Zealand Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, will be present at a traditional Māori welcome for the festival, a Powhiri, organised by the local Tumanako Māori Cultural Group.

Guests will also include the New Zealand high commissioner to Australia Chris Seed, the daughter of the Māori King, Ariki Nga wai hono i te po, the ACT government’s commissioner for International Engagement, Brendan Smyth, and organisers Isaac and Trish Cotter.

Artists and community members are expected to descend on Canberra, which shares a sister-city relationship with New Zealand’s capital Wellington, from across Australia in a day-long national celebration of dance and song.

From the hundreds of competitors, one group will be crowned Kapa [literally ‘to form a line’] Haka champion and win the right to compete at “Te Matatini” the New Zealand Kapa Haka championships in Wellington in 2019.

National Kapa Haka Festival in Canberra, Budawang Building, Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), Flemington Road, Mitchell, traditional welcome, 1pm to 3pm, Friday, March 9, free. Kapa Haka, 8.30am-4pm, Saturday, March 10. Bookings to




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