The brief: Te Matatini is an incorporated society founded in 1972 dedicated to delivering a biennial national Kapa Haka festival. The society also supports Māori performing arts in schools, at festivals, in wananga, with businesses and government departments, with master classes and on the international stage.

They required a new website to deliver multimedia, festival information, and a wealth of regional & community content to users.

The Brief

Cultural Identity

Te Matatini needed a website that lived up to their brand and reputation. Their festival is a significant cultural event and the pinnacle for Māori performing arts that attracts over 30,000 people. Held every two years, it is one of the most highly anticipated events for performers, their whānau and the mass of passionate Kapa Haka fans throughout the world. The design of the site needed to be culturally aware, and work with seamlessly with their recognised brand.

Bringing Communities Together

A large part of the Te Matatini strategy is all about communities, and allowing the thirteen different regions around the country to come together in an online space. Because of this, we built a Regional hub which allows different administrators from different towns and cities around New Zealand to populate their own content, all within the same framework on the site. The end result is each region can add their own voice to the Te Matatini site.

Te Matatini iPad

Multimedia Rich

There was a large amount of photography and video content that accompanied each festival, and both the product owner and Somar wanted to ensure that the multimedia content had a place to shine on the website. We built video and image galleries that work dynamically with YouTube and Instagram respectively, so that the administrator only needed to update the single area in order to generate content for the website.

Te Matatini Mac Airbook

Overcoming challenges

Every project has issues and roadblocks. Somar roll with the punches and learn from everything we do:


Agile Methodology

Te Matatini needed an agile process because of the constantly shifting requirements and deadlines, based around content and changes to the stakeholders over the course of the project. Somar were flexible to work with the client and the end result ensured that the site was delivered on time, and within budget, despite numerous changes in scope throughout the project.

Respect for culture

Te Matatini is the primary event in New Zealand for Māori performing arts and the website needed to reflect this, as well as ensure usability in regions that don’t necessarily have high-speed internet connections. Somar ensured that all designs were on brand, culturally respectful and user friendly and accessible to a wide audience. Te Matatini were extremely impressed with the outcome and how we handled the cultural sensitivities of the project.

Multiple Content Authors

The Te Matatini website required a wide administration team, starting with office administrators - but also requiring content authoring from over a dozen remote editors around the country. We built a SilverStripe module within the content management system (CMS) to allow Te Matatini to assign and create new moderators of the site, who were locked into only be able to edit their particular sections of the site. This ensured that the Regional sections of the site were controlled separately to the rest of the content. The SilverStripe CMS proved to be extremely user-friendly and efficient for Te Matatini, and also empowers the local iwi and kapa haka groups around the country.

MailChimp Integration 

MailChimp Integration Te Matatini needed to keep in touch with their users to inform them of upcoming festival news and updates. We created an open source module that connected seamlessly with MailChimp, and created a responsive, branded template to allow Te Matatini to create and send out newsletters effortlessly. Somar also integrated the newsletter content with the CMS content, meaning that the administrator simply needed to select which articles they wanted to include - reducing the need to create content twice.

Instagram Galleries

Te Matatini had a wealth of beautiful photos taken at festivals and tournaments around the country. They already had a well maintained Instagram account, so it made sense to tap into this in order to bring the photos across to the website with minimal administration effort. We used the Instagram API and customised our SilverStripe CMS so that any updates to their Instagram feed gets automatically pulled across to the gallery section of their website.