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Host iwi for Matariki Festival 2017 announced

Published: 20 March 2017

Auckland Council is proud to be celebrating this year’s Matariki Festival in partnership with Ngāti Manuhiri.

The Auckland iwi whose rohe extends from Bream Tail in the north to the Okura River mouth on the north shore, includes the off-shore islands Hauturu o Toi, Kawau o Tu Maro, Panitiki and Hawere a Maki.

Ngāti Manuhiri will host the Matariki Dawn Karakia to mark the start of the festival programme on 10 June. Each year the karakia is hosted at a culturally significant site chosen by mana whenua, an event which allows the host iwi to welcome guests to mark the start of the Māori New Year.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s is enthusiastic about the partnership.

“Matariki is the time we recognise the culture and traditions of this country’s tangata whenua.”

“Traditionally whanau (family) come together to reflect on the past, show respect for the land on which we live and celebrate new beginnings. This festival gives Aucklanders and visitors the opportunity to come together and hear the stories and traditions of Matariki through the eyes of the host iwi. I encourage everyone to share in the 2017 programme of Auckland’s premier winter festival,” says Mayor Goff.

Mook Hohneck, Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust CEO, says Ngāti Manuhiri is looking forward to the opportunity to reflect and share its culture with all of Tāmaki Makaurau and the people of Aotearoa.

“Customarily, Matariki meant we gave thanks for what was handed down to us from our tupuna and the whakapapa that connects us physically, spiritually and metaphorically to all things Māori. It was a time of togetherness and new beginnings. Today it remains all of those things as well as the opportunity to celebrate and share our unique culture in Tāmaki Makaurau. By acknowledging the importance of past through events like Matariki, we are ensuring the long-term sustainability of our culture for future generations.”

The cover image for this year’s programme is the pou whenua (land marker) representing the eponymous ancestor of Ngati Manuhiri.

Manuhiri was created in 2005 by Vern Rosieur (Ngāti Manuhiri/Ngāti Wai), Hone Heke (Ngāti Wai/Māori) and Harry Waikaire (Ngāti Wehi Wehi). The tāonga (artwork) representing the tribe’s founding tupuna (ancestor), was recently restored by tohunga whakairo (master carver) Vern Rosieur and can be found at Tāwharanui Regional Park.

Hosting the festival in partnership with mana whenua began for the first time last year when Ngāti Paoa was host iwi.