The festival theme ‘Te Matatini ki te Ao’ is the ‘name’ of the 2019 festival. The theme is an embodiment of the aspirations and dreams of the festival hosts Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Atiawa me ngā iwi o Taranaki whānui.
The iwi of the region – whose responsibility it is to manaaki visitors to the festival – envisage a festival brand that will exemplify the cultural vibrancy of Wellington; the phenomena that make up the geography and natural elements of the area; and the rich heritage and kōrero of mana whenua.
The theme promotes the status of Te Matatini as a world-class festival, and will be a global stage for Māori performance excellence featuring the very best in competitive kapa haka.
‘Te Matatini ki te Ao', has a deeper meaning than its English translation of “the many faces to the world”. Throughout te ao Māori (the Māori world) the suggestion is that the world’s people are invited to participate alongside iwi, as we prepare to attract over 3,000 of the world’s top kapa haka exponents, tens of thousands of supporters and spectators, attracting both local and international tourists, as they converge on to Te Whanganui-a-Tara in February of 2019.