The Jojo Super 9s kapa haka competition scheduled for this Saturday has been cancelled.
The competition was going to be held at Te Manawa (old City Focus) on September 21 and had a total prize pool of $9000.
The competition was created in 2017 in memory of kapa haka enthusiast, the late Jojo Waaka.
Organisers and sponsors, New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute and Te Matatini Kapa Haka Aotearoa, made the call to cancel after teams withdrew from the event.
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In a statement this afternoon, the institute's general manager Eraia Kiel said the decision was not made lightly, but nine teams were required to achieve the true spirit of the event.
"Unfortunately, teams have had to withdraw due to other commitments, so we were unable to deliver an authentic competition, while paying tribute to our dear friend, without compromising the mana of the event.
"While we're disappointed we can no longer offer this event as part of the amazing Aronui Arts Festival programme, we've had to consider the appeal for the community to watch a condensed show, the effort required by our remaining rōpū haka, and the manpower and cost to set-up at Te Manawa."
The Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival's events and exhibitions this month included the Aronui Māori Market which attracted a crowd of about 1000 people last weekend.
The event was going to showcase teams of nine, who would have had just nine minutes to wow the judges and the crowd with eye-catching kapa haka performances.