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Matariki Festival, re-shaped for 2020, begins 20 June

Published: 1 June 2020

Matariki Festival is on!

Aucklanders will celebrate Matariki this winter with a re-sized festival in response to Tāmaki Makaurau’s new normal.

Matariki Festival begins on 20 June with the winter solstice and ends on 15 July as the Matariki star cluster rises above the horizon in the pre-dawn sky, ushering in the Māori New Year.

Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events committee and a passionate supporter of Matariki Festival says: “We are very proud of our Matariki Festival in Tāmaki Makaurau.

“Even though our festival is smaller this year, its sense of kotahitanga (coming together) is just as strong. Together we can enjoy a festival that re-energises the city and deepens our appreciation of tikanga Māori,” he says.

Matariki season is a time to be with family and friends, reflect on the past, remember those who are not with us and prepare for the year ahead.

Matariki Festival Director Ataahua Papa says: “Matariki is like pressing the refresh button each year. After the challenges of past months, we think Aucklanders are ready for a new outlook.”

Papa says Matariki Festival 2020 will enable Aucklanders to experience the sights, lights, sounds and learnings of te ao Māori (worldview) in different ways.

“We needed to be imaginative to re-shape the festival this year. We’ll bring the region a line-up of smaller community events with new ways for people to join in and be part of the festival online. We’ll encourage people to celebrate with friends and whānau at home, in parks, at vantage points around the city and in their local communities.

“And the spectacle of Vector Lights for Matariki Festival will bring a striking new Matariki narrative to the harbour bridge,” she says.

Waikato-Tainui will continue to be iwi manaaki (host iwi) in 2020. Matariki Festival is proudly hosted by Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland Council) with the support of Vector Lights (principal partner) and Britomart (supporting partner).

Kia mataara e te iwi… watch this space!

Read more: Matariki Cultural Arts

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