Matariki Festival returns for 2021

Last Updated : 24 Jun 2021
Matariki Festival returns for 2021

Matariki Festival is back to captivate and delight Aucklanders this winter.

Hosted by Auckland Council in partnership with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei as this year’s iwi manaaki (host iwi), Matariki Festival 2021 will take you on a journey through te ao Māori (the Māori worldview) and is the perfect preparation for Matariki becoming a national public holiday next year.

The annual festival kicks off on 19 June and finishes on 11 July, with eight pou events and more than 80 other events happening across the region.

This year's events

Matariki Dawn Karakia

See in the Māori new year with iwi manaaki Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei at Takaparawhau / Bastion Point. The Matariki Dawn Karakia is the official launch of this year’s festival and a chance to welcome the new year with karanga (ceremonial call), karakia (ritual prayers and chants), waiata (song) and kotahitanga (unity). A light breakfast, and opportunities to learn more about Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei follow the formalities.

When: Saturday 19 June, 6am-10am

Where: Takaparawhau / Bastion Point, 59B Kitemoana St, Ōrākei

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Vector Lights for Matariki Festival

Enjoy a new light show sharing the pepeha (tribal lineage) of iwi manaaki, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, on Auckland Harbour Bridge. The show will run for five minutes and plays every half hour. Head to the Vector Lights website to listen to the accompanying music as you watch the show.
Vector Lights on the Auckland Harbour Bridge is part of a smart energy partnership between Vector and Auckland Council.

When:           

  • Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 June, 6pm-12am
  • Friday 25 - Sunday 27 June, 6pm-12am
  • Saturday 2 - Sunday 3 July, 6pm-12am
  • Friday 9 - Sunday 11 July, 6pm-12am

Where: Auckland Harbour Bridge – best views include the waterfront by Silo Park or the end of Princes & Queens Wharves, Little Shoal Bay and atop Maungawhau Mt Eden.

Manu Aute Kite Day

One of Matariki Festival’s most popular events is Manu Aute Kite Day. Manu aute and manu tukutuku (kites) were used to send messages to the heavens and between iwi (tribe) and hapū (subtribe), and Manu Aute Kite Day honours that tradition. See kites of all shapes and sizes filling the skies above Tāmaki Makaurau, or make and fly your own manu tukutuku or manu aute. With two events occurring on the same day in both Ōrākei and Puketāpapa, there are plenty of opportunities for a fun day with the whānau.

Ōrākei 

When: Saturday 26 June, 10am–4pm

Where: Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park, 19 Hapimana Street, Ōrākei 

Puketāpapa 

When: Saturday 26 June, 11am–4pm

Where: Summit of Puketāpapa / Pukewīwī, 1129 Dominion Road, Mt Roskill

Matariki on the Move: Kiriata

Kiriata (film) is a great way to engage with stories. This year’s cinematic selection of short and feature-length films promises to be thought-provoking, evocative and emotive. Head along to one of the screenings in the city centre, Papakura, Avondale or Takapuna.

Dates vary according to location.

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Matariki on the Move: Kōrero

If you are keen to learn more about Māori astronomy, maramataka (lunar calendar) and celestial navigation, this is an unmissable event. With korero from three tohunga (experts) you will hear about how astronomy helped guide traditional Māori life. This is a great way to expand your mātauranga (knowledge) of Māori astronomy and Matariki. Spaces are limited so booking is essential

When: Wednesday 7 July, 7pm-9pm

Where: Hawkins Theatre, Papakura

Matariki on the Move: Waiata

Celebrate Matariki and Tāmaki Makaurau as a UNESCO City of Music with live music over lunchtime in Takutai Square. Enjoy Māori and Pasifika artists as they showcase their incredible musical ability and vocal prowess.

When: Wednesday 23 June – Sat 26 June, 12.50pm-1.10pm

Where: Takutai Square, Britomart

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Te Taumata Kapa Haka

Live and dynamic kapa haka performances will be happening in Takutai Square in celebration of Matariki. Kapa haka groups from around Tāmaki Makaurau will share waiata (song) and haka, a unique opportunity to enjoy their incredible and awe-inspiring talents.

When: Wednesday 23 June – Sat 26 June, 12.15pm and 1.15pm daily

Where: Takutai Square, Britomart

Te Korakora on Takutai

Matariki Festival’s premier open-air music and food event is back. Showcasing the talents of contemporary Māori musicians in Takutai Square, this is definitely a highlight of the winter music calendar. Ria Hall headlines with her signature style of roots, reggae and reo. She is joined by Mara TK, LaCoco, DJ Spell and friends. Indulge your taste buds and your ears, in what promises to be a feast for your senses! 

When: Friday 9 July, 5pm-10pm

Where: Takutai Square, Britomart


Matariki Festival is brought to you by Auckland Council in partnership with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, with support from Vector Lights, Britomart and NZME.

For more information and to find events near you, visit the Matariki Festival website.

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