Te Matatini festival to go ahead despite Hawke's Bay teams affected by Cyclone Gabrielle

Te Matatini, the world's largest kapa haka festival, will go ahead for its 50th anniversary on February 22 even though a number of competing teams have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

There had been calls to postpone the event at Auckland's Eden Park, but the affected teams will still be able to attend and compete.

An urgent meeting of the Te Matatini executive took place on Wednesday night in which organisers say they heard from the people who are about to take part. 

The hui was about how the festival could provide support as the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions continued to deal with the cyclone's aftermath.

There had been concerns two teams from the Hawke's Bay event wouldn't be able to take part.

However, Te Matatini CEO Carl Ross said the organisation would "help them get to the festival, so there will be 45 teams now taking part".

"We're working through that with them now. Where they are at the moment, they're happy they're going to make it to the festival," Ross told AM.

Ross said the meeting had been important as "you need to hear from the people themselves" about whether they felt they could be part of the festival.

"We're taking their korero on what they're doing - we'll be working with them to ensure we can do everything we can to support them to do that."

When asked why the festival was not being postponed so whanau could mentally recover after the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle, Ross said the "wellness of our people" was important.

"[We've got] over 1600 performers, they've put in months and months of preparation, their own teams have spent hundreds of thousands to make it to Auckland, so they'll lose that," he said.

"The wellness of our people is something that we really need to think about."