Twenty-six judges from across the motu (country) have been selected for the National Kapa Haka Festival, Te Matatini, to be held in Christchurch in March next year.
After a robust process which included 55 nominations being sent in from the 13 different rohe, the National Committee of Te Matatini, kapa haka tutors and the 45 leaders of each cultural group appointed the judges.
Te Matatini chairman Selwyn Parata, of Ngati Porou, said he is pleased with the variety and quality of judges, which include six newcomers.
Mr Parata said the 13 Te Matatini regions, including Australia, are represented, as is just about every iwi in Aotearoa.
The high calibre of the judges is a good indication that the quality of kapa haka in the regions, he said.