Te Matatini Herenga Waka national kapa haka competition has been postponed until 2022.
It was due to be held in Feb 2021, it will now be held a year later.
The chair, Selwyn Parata, made the announcement today in Wellington.
He said Te Matatini undertook a consultation process with a number of stakeholders including the patron, Kiingi Tūheitia, and partners and sponsors Tāmaki Host Committee, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Eden Park, Auckland Council, Auckland Public Health Services and Government ministries and agencies.
Parata said a number of things were taken into account when considering the decision to postpone the festival from 2021 to February 22-26, 2022 at Eden Park/Nga Ana Wai.
"Firstly, the threat of community transmission of Covid-19 in Aotearoa.
"With Tāmaki Makaurau being the gateway to Aotearoa."
As well as the current economic environment and the financial impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on kapa haka and Aotearoa whānui he said.
Parata thanked those involved for the work already undertaken in the planning of the event.
"We would like to acknowledge the considerable amount of mahi that has taken place for Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata Festival 2021 and the unwavering support that has been received from the government."
When asked whether the decision will affect hosting iwi, Ngāti Whātua, or other stakeholders in the festival and the money already invested, Parata said it will not.
"No one is going to be out of pocket because everyone came into the kaupapa i runga i te ngakau aroha ki te tautoko i Te Matatini Herenga Waka, Herenga Tangata."
The postponement will now reset the biennial cycle of the competition from 2022.