23 Feb 2012

Christchurch prepares for biggest Maori performance

6:33 am on 23 February 2012

Canterbury's Maori arts group is busy planning to host the country's leading performance festival in three years.

Waitaha Cultural Council on Wednesday learned that Christchurch will be putting on Te Matatini National Festival, attracting about 30,000 elite kapa haka performers and visitors.

The bid to host the competition was launched jointly with Ngai Tahu and the Christchurch City Council.

Waitaha Cultural Council co-chairperson Rangimarie Parata-Takurua says there was a big effort to convince the national organisers that Christchurch should be the host city.

She says she had to dispel the myth that the South Island is not known for having a lot of Maori living there.

Ms Parata-Takurua also pointed out that Matatini hasn't been to the South Island for 30 years, and there's a novelty factor for local audiences.