March 2000, Volume 11, Number 2
A 'Brilliant' Performance
The people behind the organisation of this year's Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Festival have been staggered by the enthusiastic response to the event.
I'm ecstatic at the response and the letters of commendation and congratulations received from a wide range of people," says festival chief executive officer Doug Hauraki.
The overall winners of the premier kapa haka were Te Matarae I Orehu of Rotorua, followed by Te Waka Huia and Te Ropu Manutaki from Auckland who were placed second equal.
The event received support and advice from Community Employment. Community Employment staff were on site to field inquiries about the group's work and create awareness about community development amongst Maori.
More than 17,000 tickets were sold for the four-day event at Turangawaewae Marae on the banks of the Waikato River.
"Where the host iwi have a very good traditional base, and this is what happened with Turangawaewae, there is always a really good feeling about how everything went," says Doug.
There were a few small hiccups, but "at the end of the day it went off brilliantly."
The festival had 2000 performers from 37 groups. Two of the entries were from Australia, and overseas groups from Taiwan, Canada and Hawaii provided entertainment.
The event was attended by a number of dignitaries, including the Prime Minister Helen Clark, the Leader of the Opposition Jenny Shipley, the Governor General Sir Michael Hardie-Boys and ambassadors or high commissioners from the United States, Malaysia and Canada.