Te Pāti Māori say the "crumbs" in the Budget for Te Matatini compared to ballet and the orchestra show "second class treatment" of Māori arts.
Budget 2022, revealed yesterday, included $1.1 billion for Māori-focused initiatives, with a $1 million a year boost to funding for Te Matatini, the national kapa haka festival.
This was the biggest increase in funding for Te Matatini, and took the total annual funding to $2.9m.
However, Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi said the Royal NZ Ballet also got a funding boost. It was allocated $7.5m over the next four years, and would now get $8.1m per year.
The Symphony Orchestra got an extra $3m per year and now received $19.7m per year.
Waititi said they were "fed up with the second-class treatment of Māori arts".
"The Government is trying to bamboozle you by telling you they have invested the biggest boost ever into Te Matatini.
"We are still no better off than we were last year and in actual fact, we are worse off with the extra boost given to the Symphony Orchestra.
"Still crumbs. Still not good enough. Still happy to exploit tangata whenua for our cultural and intellectual property to boost our international image, and give bugger all in return."
Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan has been approached for comment.
Yesterday Allan said the Budget delivered the "largest ever baseline increase for Te Matatini".
She said the funding would help regions deliver kapa haka, which would have wider benefits.
"We know that kapa haka is an all-round catch-all way to improve our reo outcomes, our cultural outcomes; in terms of connectivity it brings people together.
"So from our perspective we see kapa haka and Te Matatini as an incredibly vital vehicle for achieving some of the outcomes that we are seeking to, across all the wellbeing measures for Māori and communities."