Mata Wānanga should remain a three-day event held in the school holidays, but include activities other than competitive kapa haka - as long as those activities are not uepū or wānanga hui, training, internal conferences or strategy presentations.
That’s the overall summary of results from the recent Mata Wānanga survey, which was sent to all kaimahi at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa recently.
The survey attracted 446 responses and the results will be used by Ngā Tumu as it considers the future format of the popular event, which has been held every two years since 2005 as a means of bringing kaimahi together.
The results of the survey show overwhelming support for the timing and duration of Mata Wānanga and equally strong support to include other activities.
However, the question which saw the closest result was whether competitive kapa haka should remain the main focus of Mata Wānanga. While 43% thought it should, 36% thought it should not, with 21% unsure or neutral.
Comments on this question included:
‘There is whakapapa behind this kaupapa. Don't fix what ain’t broke I say.’
‘The main focus of Mata Wānanga is to uplift kaimahi, I doubt competitive kapa haka does that.’
‘Mata Wananga used to be ngahau, now it's like a mini Matatini.’
‘Mata Wānanga is the only forum that allows kaimahi to express their grief, their passion, their raruraru, their happiness and themselves through the medium of kapa haka, in a safe environment. I would like to see that continue.’
‘Ki ahau nei ko te mea nui ko te whakawhanaungatanga.’
‘It helps to strive for excellence. Why change something that has been happening since its birth?’
‘Ko te whanaungatanga kē, ko te whakakoakoa ke ngā take nui pea mō te mahi rā.’
‘I believe competitive kapa haka is at the core of Mata Wānanga. It was the central medium through which kotahitanga was to be celebrated.’
‘He pai tonu te whakataetae heoi anō, hei whai i tā Mike i whakatau ai, ko te whanaungatanga te mea nui ki ahau.’
Of the 77% of respondents who wanted other activities included in Mata Wānanga, team sports (48%), non-competitive kapa haka (19%) and debates (15%) received the most support.
Suggestions of team sports included touch, indoor netball, table tennis, quizzes, waka ama and basketball.
Mata Wānanga will this year be hosted by Te Puna Mātauranga in Te Awamutu in October.