Good news all around for Te Matatini and Matariki celebrations. The budget for both festivities has been increased by a whopping $34 million over the next two years.
Associate Arts Minister Willow-Jean Prime said the additional budget will be equitable funding of the event to help deliver the next Te Matatini in 2025.
She explained: “Te Matatini is more than just an event that takes place every two years. It is a reason for Māori to connect to their culture and support their wellbeing – ā hinengaro, ā wairua, ā tinana.”
"In Māoridom, the price of wellbeing is not just in dollar value, it is knowing your whakapapa.”
"This funding will continue to support the importance of culture in uplifting whānau in these recent difficult times and into the future,” Prime added.
The good news comes after Te Matatini saw a record-high number of viewers earlier this year.
The event previously received only $2.9 million annually, gaining an additional $1 million in last year's budget. So it's safe to say this increase will do wonders!
The Mai Morning crew caught up with Re: News’ Anna Harcourt to explain the new budget to those of us (myself included) who may not completely understand what the announcements mean.
Anna explained the most important info we need to focus on is “what’s not happening”. Interesting!
“There’s not going to be any tax cuts and there’s not going to be any changes around GST on food.”
Unfortunately, that means there won’t be any changes to the likes of how expensive our groceries are right now, which many Kiwis were hoping to see.
In terms of what is going to be happening, Anna mentioned the change to half-price public transport for anyone under 25 years old and that travelling by these will be made free for kids under 13.
In other good news, there will no longer be that pesky $5 fee when you pick up a prescription from the chemist.
If you have a child between 3-5 years old, you may already know that you can get up to 20 hours of free child care, however, Anna added that that will now be extended to those who have children between the ages of 2-5.
And of course, we’re celebrating that mighty increase in the budget for Te Matatini and Matariki festivities.
Thanks to all of this positive change, Anna explained: “The Treasury is now forecasting that we are going to avoid a recession.”
Is it too early to celebrate?!