23 Feb 2015

Matatini judge review to be launched

10:26 am on 23 February 2015

Plans are underway to reduce the number of complaints about the way kapa haka teams are judged at the world's biggest Maori festival.

There is just over a week to go until the Matatini event gets under in Christchurch, where organisers expect to attract 30,000 performers, supporters and visitors.

After this festival, the Matatini Society will conduct a major review into the way roopu haka are judged, in an effort to cut the number complaints about the way teams are scored by kaiwhakawa (judges).

The society's executive director Darrin Apanui said a review at the end of any competition was important, so judges could provide good feedback to performers.

He said the scrutiny might also help improve the standard of Te Reo, choreography and performances.

But Mr Apanui said no matter what system was used, there would always be room for protest.

He said what it is trying to do is examine the way judging is done.

Meanwhile, a past Te Matatini judge suggested a review into the way roopu haka are judged would provide groups with a sense of security, by knowing they were being treated fairly.

Rahui Papa said alot has changed since 1972, when the competition was known as the Polynesian festival.

He said the review would be helpful for performers.

"If there can be a process that they're happy enough with, so that they will feel that they have not been adjudicated unfairly...not that I'm saying that will happen at this Matatini...I'm just saying that if they're safe in the knowledge that they feel happy about not being adjudicated unfairly, then that's a win".

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