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NZCT has awarded a grant of $50,000 to support the biennial festival, Te Hui Ahurei o Tūhoe, that will be held in Waimana over Easter weekend.
The funding has been gratefully received by Te Manatū Ahurea o Tūhoe Charitable Trust and will be used for the event on resources such as generators, sound and lighting systems.
The Tūhoe festival began in 1971 to reconnect iwi members to their Tūhoe language and culture.
Te Manatū Ahurea o Tūhoe chair, Sir Pou Temara said the importance of the festival's role has become even more important today, given the decline of the Māori language and those who hold cultural knowledge.
"More than 50 years on, Te Hui Ahurei o Tūhoe is now an inter-generational strategy to retain the characteristics that make us Tūhoe, such as our unique dialect and our distinctive customary practices and traditions," he said.
"We are conscious of the costs Tūhoe participants pay to participate in the biennial festival. Inflation, a post-pandemic environment and the economic shock of Cyclone Gabrielle have taken their toll on our whānau so the Trust has worked very hard to bring in sponsorship and mitigate the financial burden on our people."
Gate sales have been lowered for adults to just $5; children aged 5 -15 will pay $2, and kaumātua and under-5s will be free.
The festival will also be a non-competitive event this year. However interest remains high with 18 Tūhoe groups from around the country registering their attendance at the 3-day festival.
This will see 1,000 kapa haka performers, 14 rugby and 31 netball teams, more than 100 golfers and 12 debate teams. Children’s sports, stalls, a kaumātua ball, an exhibition by Tūhoe artists and music will also feature.
Te Hui Ahurei o Tūhoe begins on April 7.
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