Six groups from Te Arawa will be competing at Te Matatini this week from Thursday to Sunday at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

The official theme of the 2019 festival is Te Matatini ki te Ao, meaning Te Matatini to the world.

The event is expected to attract more than 60,000 spectators.

For those attending it can be an overwhelming number of people, but loyal Te Matatini spectator Tenga Rangitauira has made a list of tips for spectators this year which he shared on his Facebook page and received more than 1000 likes.


Since the 2013 Kapa Haka Nats me and my crew have been hardcore Matatini spectators. Those people that line up 1 hour...

Posted by Tenga Rangitauira on Tuesday, 12 February 2019

He said since the Kapa Haka Nationals in 2013 he and his whānau had been "hardcore" Matatini spectators.

"[We are] those people that line up an hour before the gates open, those people that take turns running to save a spot for the wider whānau and those people that barely move all day because we've packed everything we need for the duration of a Matatini day."

However, this year Rangitauira will not be a spectator because he and the majority of his whānau are performing fifth on Saturday for the Ngāti Whakaue rōpū. But he's put together his top tips for other spectators.

Tenga's Top Tips for Hardcore Spectators

Line up early

Rangitauira said nominate someone fast and vicious every morning to line up an hour before the gates open.

"This may very well be the biggest responsibility of the day so he or she basically gets treated like a king all day, if they got a good spot."

He suggested lining up an hour and a half before the finals.

Kai and wai


Rangitauira said everyone else needed to bring chilly bins full of kai and freeze water bottles the night before to ensure they stayed cold all day.

"I always baked my caramel slice that would last the whole week and you save a lot of money this way, but it must be yum kai or you'll end up buying kai there."

Choose your spot wisely

He said if you sit too close to the front of the stage you won't be able to see the choreography.

"Make sure you take a low seat with a back to lean on, not high or you'll have to sit way at the back.

"And one of my favourites, take a neck-rest pillow in case you want to sleep."

Be sun-smart

Rangitauira suggests taking an umbrella, not for the rain but to block the sun - but only while waiting for groups to come on.

"Don't you dare try and keep it up during groups."

He also said to wear short shorts and singlets so if "groups are dumb, at least you get a tan".

"Slip, slop, slap that sunscreen so you get browner and browner by the hour."

Avoid the sneaky guys

Rangitauira said if some of the whānau and friends were not playing the game, "dodge them at all cost".

He said all they'll do is roll up before the first group starts, squeeze their belongings on your tarp, eat your kai then take off before clean up time.

Te Arawa Te Matatini Schedule

February 21

Ngati Rangiwēwehi - 11th

Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao - 14th

February 22
Te Pikikōtuku o Ngati Rongomai - 1st

February 23
Te Kapa Haka o Ngati Whakaue - 5th
Te Hikuwai - 9th
Te Mātārae I Ōrehu - 13th