Thousands of people are in Rotorua this week to be part of one of the most significant events on New Zealand's cultural calendar.

The biennial Te Matatini begins this morning at Rotorua International Stadium.

More than 40 kapa haka groups have travelled from across New Zealand and Australia to compete at the festival, for the title of national kapa haka champion.

The largest Maori carving ever created will also be unveiled as the festival opens today.


It stands 15 metres tall, and is 30 metres wide.