Eden Park has seen many a stirring haka in its 119-year history.

But it will soon experience a whole other level of tikanga Māori; as it is set to host the next Te Matatini national kapa haka festival in 2021.

The announcement comes as the four-day event wrapped up in Wellington this afternoon - just as the heavens opened up.

Ngā Tumanako, from Auckland, was named this year's overall winner after delivering an impressive performance this morning.


Eight other groups made up this year's finalists.

Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner said they were thrilled to be the 2021 hosts of what he dubbed the "renowned celebration of Māoridom", while also adding another memorable event to Eden Park's own history books.

The stadium was not just for sports games, he said.

"Eden Park is committed to ensuring the community asset is used for more than just cricket and rugby.

"So this opportunity to showcase Māori culture on the same hallowed turf that some of our country's greatest athletes have graced fits perfectly.''

Sautner went on to say they it was an honour to offer kapa haka groups the chance to perform and share their mana on a field of champions, while celebrating Māori Performing Arts.

"Our whānau are looking forward to delivering a first-class event in 2021 to ensure Te Matatini is showcased on the world stage.''

At the festival today, rain bucketed down and a bitter southerly picked up just as the top three teams were announced.

Winners: Ngā Tumanako, from Auckland, was named the overall winning group at Te Matatini 2019. Photo / Supplied
Winners: Ngā Tumanako, from Auckland, was named the overall winning group at Te Matatini 2019. Photo / Supplied

Some in the crowd ran for cover in the stadium's higher stands while others dug in their heels.

Te Pikikōtuku o Ngāti Rongomai came second place and Te Whānau a Apanui third.

The wet weather did little to deter people, deputy mayor and Māori partnerships portfolio leader Jill Day said.

"It's really amazing to see that it's not dampening people's spirits - there are still people being staunch and sitting out there...watching the kapa haka with smiles on their faces."


Day said it was exciting to see Māori culture flourish.

"Te Reo Māori has just been everywhere at this festival, we 're seeing it, we 're hearing it, we 're reading it. It's really dominating."

Wellington local Nēpia Takuira-Mita said kapa haka required discipline, team work and developed self-confidence.

"They set the sort of pinnacle of what we as Māori people can achieve with a bit of dedication. So we look up to them as our mentors.

"If they can go that hard to get to that level of perfection in their chosen field, then it gives us hope and it gives our kids hope tō be able do that."

Westpac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon said it was an honor to host the event this year.

"It's unlike anything we've ever done before."

Te Matatini is a huge event and highlight for kapa haka teams from all around the country who train hard in the lead-up to the event.

It is held every two years and regularly draws tens of thousands of people.

This year, more than 60,000 people were expected to attend the festival, which was at held at Wellington's Westpac Stadium. A total of 46 groups performed.

Greater Wellington Regional Council chairman Chris Laidlaw said: "Te Matatini showed how we can bring people together and share our language, stories, arts and culture with the world.

"This was a true international-level event.''