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Kites dance across the sky for Matariki

Published: 9 June 2017

Kites will dance across the sky at three focal points across Auckland on the opening weekend of this year’s Matariki Festival.

Auckland Council’s Manu Aute Kite Day, Sunday 11 June will see kite flying celebrations at Ōrakei Marae, Puketāpapa at Mt Roskill’s Winstone Park and Manurewa’s Randwick Park.

With a strong focus on decorating and flying your own kite this year, Mayor Goff wants to encourage kite lovers of all ages to fly a kite wherever they are in Auckland. 

“Kite flying is steeped in Māori tradition with kites flown for fun, for communication between heaven and earth and to forecast the future.

The important message this year is to get out and fly a kite wherever you are on Manu Aute Kite Day – at the beach, up one of our many maunga or at your local park.”

Even with rain and strong wind in previous years, New Zealand’s top professional kite fliers are ready for the 2017 challenge as they gear up to fly kites of all shapes and sizes.

Ray and Rosemary McCully of McCully’s Kites in Rotorua, will fill the sky at Manurewa with their custom made Maori legend kites, depicting the colourful drawings of Peter Gossage. The kites are a tribute to New Zealand’s well-loved author and illustrator of children’s books.

“Peter gave us his blessing to make kites from his illustrations and it’s an honour to bring them to life by flying them in skies around New Zealand and Australia.  We love seeing the reactions of children and adults when they recognise his beautiful artwork.” 

Perrin Melchior, owner of Kiteworks in Auckland, loves sharing his passion for kite flying with the community.  

“Kite flying is many things to many people.  It can be as simple as just lying on your back watching the kite flying, or using a kite for exploring, aerial photography, or a sport like kiteboarding.  Building your own kite is a huge part of the fun of flying kites.”

Even after 25 years of making and flying kites, Perrin’s favourite place to fly a kite is still Ōrakei Marae at Bastion Point, where he’ll treat Aucklanders to a spectacular show of his own kite designs. 

Other kites flying in the sky above Ōrakei Marae on Sunday will include a giant 30m-long Blue Whale from Ashburton based world renowned kite designer Peter Lynn, who regularly travels the world with his kites and holds the 2005 Guinness World Record for one of his special custom designs.

The day at Ōrakei starts with a pōwhiri at 9.00am (all welcome); as well as kite flying there is a wide range of Matariki activities and Maori traditions on all day at the marae hosted by Ōrakei Local Board.

Two further sites will be activated, Pukewiwi (Winstone Park) in Mt Roskill and Randwick Park in Manurewa.

For more information and the full programme go to