Feel the emotion of awe-inspiring kapa haka in the city centre this week, before anticipating the chance to learn the art of poi, look up to the constellations in a stardome or the sky and shop local at a bustling makers’ market in Manukau.
For Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events committee, it’s the kai and smiles he looks forward to most at Matariki Festival.
“Our tamariki learn about Matariki and what it all means. We have fun together. For me it’s about the sharing of kai and the kōrero that comes with the Matariki season.
“Even though our festival is smaller this year, the 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 te ao Māori (worldview),” he says.
Search for events near you at matarikifestival.org.nz/whats-on
Counting down to the Matariki stars’ appearance in the pre-dawn sky from 13 to 15 July, here are some highlights:
Dynamic kapa haka captivates city centre
A cornerstone of the festival, Te Taumata Kapa Haka comes alive this week.
From Monday 29 June until Saturday 4 July, dynamic and awe-inspiring kapa haka will resound through Britomart’s Takutai Square, bringing the emotion and poignancy of traditional Māori performing arts to lunchtime crowds.
From Tuesday 30 June fans can also buy an earth-oven cooked hāngi lunch - while watching some of Auckland's best kapa haka groups in action.
Proudly supported by Britomart.
Support local at a Manukau makers' market
Te Kete Aronui Makers’ Market: this fun, family day celebrates Matariki, along with a unique opportunity to shop local and support artists and craftspeople. Purchase a taonga or two, visit a pop-up stardome, enjoy delicious kai and listen to some great entertainment.
Proudly supported by Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).
See Matariki stars rise in real-life
Join Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and watch Matariki rise at Takaparawhau. The Auckland Astronomical Society will be there with telescopes and binoculars to help you see the Matariki star cluster and other stars appear in the sky before sunrise.
Enjoy a hot drink as we welcome the Māori new year.
Proudly supported by Ōrākei Local Board.
Stars shine in light spectacle
Don’t miss the Auckland Harbour Bridge lighting up, as the story of the Matariki star cluster plays out on the city’s biggest canvas. Watch a unique light spectacle while you listen to an informative narrative at vector.co.nz/lights
Vector Lights for Matariki Festival lights up the bridge 4-5 July and 10-12 July, with shows beginning every half hour from 6pm until midnight.
Matariki Festival is proudly hosted by Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland Council) in collaboration with Waikato-Tainui, with the support of Vector Lights (principal partner) and Britomart (supporting partner).