This year’s Matariki Festival in Tamaki Makaurau will be held over three weeks, from June 21 to July 16. The programme features hundreds of events, but will be held up by five pou (signature) events. They are Umu Kohukohu Whetū, Manu Aute Kite Day, Matariki on the Move, Te Taumata Kapa and Te Korakora.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Umu Kohukohu Whetū
The Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Umu Kohukohu Whetū will take place in the early morning of Tuesday, June 21 at Takaparawhau/Bastion Point. It involves a ceremonial offering of food to the stars of Matariki from an umu or hāngī that has been prepared the night before. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei chairperson Marama Royal says the traditional ceremony was once celebrated throughout Aotearoa amongst whānau, hapū and iwi, but the practice died out in the early 1900s. “We felt it was important to see a resurgence of this important practice,” she says.
Manu Aute Kite Day
Manu Aute Kite Day (June 25) is a favourite with whānau. 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. There will be kites of all shapes and sizes filling the skies, as well as kite making workshops. This year’s event is being held at Takaparawhau, Ōrākei.
Matariki on the Move
Matariki on the Move (July 1, 8 and 15) is an exciting collaboration with Stardome. It will take audiences on a virtual journey to the Matariki constellation and will weave the visual experience with live music performed by contemporary Māori musicians.
Te Taumata Kapa Haka
Te Taumata Kapa Haka will deliver live and dynamic kapa haka performances at lunchtimes on weekend days during the festival. Kapa haka groups from around Tāmaki Makaurau will share waiata (song) and haka in malls around the region.
Te Korakora is the final pou event (July 16), the major music component of the Matariki Festival. Local legends Kings, AJA, La Coco, DJ Grantis will get you warmed up and dancing in anticipation for an exciting headline act that will be announced shortly – it will be a jam-packed evening of festivities and hosted by Tik Tok sensation Maaka Pohatu. This event at Wynyard Quarter is one to mark in your diaries now.
For the full programme for Tamaki Makaurau visit: www.matarikifestival.org.nz.
Matariki on the Waterfront returns to Silo Park on July 2 and 3, promising two days of experiences to invigorate the soul and warm the senses during the cold of winter. A range of Matariki activities are on the programme including, live music, kapa haka, workshops, installations, kai and a place of connection, remembrance and renewal for all.
Iwi manaaki Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei will be joining the celebrations as Ahi Kā, keepers of the fires of Tāmaki Makaurau, with kapa haka, raranga, kai stalls, poi making and more.
There will be entertainment by Kapa Haka – Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Kaumātua Kapa Haka – Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Herbs, MAJIC, Māori Hifi DJ’s (Grantis & Gene Rivers) and more. The Kai stall line-up includes Kai Sisterz, Dots Puku Stall, Mussel Man, Māori Mex and Egg and Spoon Coffee.
Some of Auckland’s finest piano-based musicians will perform at their favourite locations, with a series of innovative twilight concerts free to the public from June 24 to July 3.
Each ‘Illuminate Matariki’ event harnesses digital technology which enables the notes of the piano to trigger a captivating light show unique to each song.
The evening begins with a performance by Tereora – bringing waiata (songs) and kōrero about Te Whānau Marama (Family of Light), and the magic of Matariki/The Māori New Year. Tereora’s work focuses on themes of Maumahara (rememberance) and celebration in Aotearoa, that the rising of the Matariki leads us into.
Organisers encourage attendees to bring chairs, rugs, snacks and hot drinks.
The events will be held as follows:
• Matthias Jordan, Holy Trinity Church, Parnell, June 24, 5.30pm
• Nic Manders, Tahaki Reserve, Mt Eden, June 25, 7pm
• Greg Johnson, Tahaki Reserve, Mt Eden, June 30, 7pm
• Jan Hellriegel, Wallance Arts Centre, Pah Homestead, Hillsborough, July 2, 7pm
• Nick Dow, Titirangi Beach Hall, July 3, 7pm
Maori Lion King for Matariki
Matakana Cinemas has special screenings of Disney classic The Lion King re-voiced in te reo Maori over Matariki Weekend. Lion King Reo Maori has been translated by experts in each rohe (region) with key characters adopting five different mita (dialects).
Fourteen actors from all over New Zealand were chosen to voice the movie, which will screen on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25 at 4.45pm.
Info and tickets: Matakana Cinemas on 423 0218 or visit www.matakanacinemas.co.nz