Thousands share the story of Ka Mate at Te Papa

25 October 2011

“Ka mate, ka mate? Ka ora, ka ora?”

The story of Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha and whether or not he was going to live or die is now etched in the hearts of visitors around the world, following the hugely successful Ka Mate exhibition at Te Papa.

Presented by Ngati Toa Rangatira, the interactive audiovisual exhibition lived in the main foyer at Te Papa as part of the Real New Zealand Festival during the Rugby World Cup.

More than 16,000 people from New Zealand and overseas went through and learned the famous Ka Mate haka, after the exhibition garnered media attention in New Zealand, the UK, North America, and South Africa.

“This has been a unique learning experience for our international visitors, they’ve been up close and personal with one of our most famous cultural treasures, and Ka Mate has been seen through the eyes of its iwi and told in the most innovative way possible,” says Te Papa Chief Executive Michael Houlihan.

Chief Executive Matiu Rei says, “Ka Mate has stood the test of time and continues to be one of the most performed haka. We wanted to share the Ngati Toa story of Ka Mate from its creation to how it has evolved in today’s society. We’ve been able to share this important story with the many visitors who have visited Te Papa over the past two months. It’s been a great experience for our iwi to be involved with.”

Ngati Toa Rangatira and Te Papa would like to acknowledge our sponsors Real New Zealand Festival, Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Wellington City Council, and exhibition creators Story Inc.