Toitu te Waiora (Community, Education, Health and Social Services) Workforce Development Council was privileged to attend Te Matatini 2023, which was held at Ngā Ana Wai (Eden Park), hosted by Ngāti Whatua.

Over 40,000 people attended the four-day festival and thousands tuned in from across Aotearoa, which took place on February 22 to 25. The festival featured over 122 stalls, each with a kaupapa Māori focus, and at least one reo Māori speaker.

Our team thoroughly enjoyed connecting with whānau from all over Aotearoa, and it was wonderful to have Toi Mai (creative, cultural, recreation and technology) Workforce Development Council join us.

“It was an environment where you felt you were part of something special. You would hear mōrena in the mornings from everyone regardless of who you were, and the traditional smiles (as a way of saying hello) were seen everywhere.” Hera Williams, Māori Relationship Lead at Toitu te waiora, said.

“The laughter, the kai, the consistent korero with whānau could be heard for miles. It’s an event that really epitomizes the words Whānaungatanga, Manaakitanga and Kotahitanga.”

We would like to express our thanks to everyone who stopped by our stall to kōrero. A special thank you to the Ministry of Education, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and the Pacific Network for helping support this kaupapa.

The feedback and insights obtained from the festival are of immense value for our upcoming work, and we look forward to strengthening these newly formed connections as we strive towards helping create transformational change in the workforce.