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Jason Momoa shows his support for Māori culture at Te Matatini

Te Matatini finalists had a famous face watching on in the audience – Hollywood star Jason Momoa.

The Hollywood star stopped by the national kapa haka festival at Auckland’s Ngā Ana Wai (Eden Park) to catch the action on Saturday, the final day of the four-day event. Momoa, who is in New Zealand to film his new Apple TV+ series, Chief of War, shared photos and videos of the festival with his 17.2 million Instagram followers.

The Aquaman star shared pictures with fellow VIPs, including Kiwi actor Temuera Morrison (who also has a role in the upcoming show), Māori King Tuheitia, and members of Te Pāti Māori. He also shared clips of the performances from his vantage point in the crowd. “What an amazing day in Auckland,” he captioned the post, before writing in the Hawaiian language: “Ola loa ka loina Maori! Eō #TeMatatini” (The Māori tradition is alive and well! Here’s #TeMatatini). Lee Ann Muntz, a board member for New Zealand Māori Tourism and chair of Tainui Waka Tourism, said Momoa and other members of the Chief of War production were hosted at Te Matatini in the Matapakihi business lounge by New Zealand Māori Tourism.

Approximately 150 production personnel were currently based in Whangamatā filming. “Their visit to Te Matatini provided an opportunity to share our stories with the world,” said Muntz. “The Haka Māori cultural experience was just as great for [Momoa] as it was for everyone receiving him.” Momoa has expressed his respect for Māori culture on a number of occasions. In January, he attended a pōwhiri at Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden. The actor, who was born in Hawaii, has previously revealed his ancestors travelled from Hawaii to Aotearoa and back, which explains his deep sense of connection with the country. “When I was a baby I saw pictures of New Zealand,” he told Newshub in 2018. “I’ve been just pulled there and the moment I set foot there it was the only place on Earth I’ve felt ‘this is exactly where I’m from’. Not even Hawaii has done that for me – I’m so connected to Aotearoa, on a higher level. I know I’m from there.”


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