23 Mar 2012

Maori culture takes centre stage in Canberra

7:15 am on 23 March 2012

Eleven Maori cultural groups take centre stage in Canberra on Friday for the biggest kapa haka festival in Australia.

The ACT Maori Performing Arts Corporation won the right to re-host the event following the huge achievement, when it was declared the most successful Maori cultural festival in Australia in 2010.

Maori Performing Arts Australia chairperson Isaac Cotter says Australian-based Maori are still proud to keep their language and customs alive through performing in kapa haka.

He says some Maori are pining for home and like to express their culture in different ways by getting tamoko (traditional style tattoos), wood carving or speaking te reo.

Mr Cotter says three groups are coming from Western Australia, two teams from Victoria, two from New South Wales, and four from Queensland.

The winning teams were announced on Saturday.