The Jojo Waaka Super 9 Kapa Haka Competition is back by popular demand as part of this year's Matariki programme at Te Puia | New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua.

The event, which pays tribute to the late Jojo Waaka, sees teams with nine members take the stage for nine minutes.

The inaugural competition, last year, saw between 600 and 700 people come to watch the performances over three days.

The Matariki programme, which runs from Monday, July 23 to Friday, July 27, features a range of lectures, extra tā moko booking slots and events for tamariki, with local schools taking part in interactive activities such as weaving, string games and kapa haka.

NZMACI general manager Eraia Kiel said traditionally Matariki was a time for people to "come indoors and a time for learning and sharing", and that philosophy remained today.

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The lineup this year had been built around concepts of reflecting on and reconnecting with Māori culture, as well as offering deeper learning around it.

Kiel said the lecture series was one way of expanding the knowledge of manuhiri (visitors) and featured guest speakers.

"It is a journey of self-discovery, even for our staff. Matariki is the star that signifies reflection, hope, our connection to the environment and the gathering of people."

Kiel said four guest tā moko artists would be on-site during the Matariki programme – Gordon Toi, Haki Williams, Heemi Te Peeti and Hohua Mohi.

He said they were some of the best artists in the country and all had an affiliation with NZMACI.

"Having tamariki on-site is particularly exciting, as it gives the opportunity to inspire and educate them, as well as opening their eyes to future possibilities within the schools.

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"The Matariki events are a perfect opportunity for everyone, especially Rotorua locals, to visit Te Puia."