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Celebrating Matariki (Maori New Year)

A programme of events to acknowledge and celebrate Matariki - the Maori New Year - will be held in Auckland City over June and July.

The rising of the star constellation, Matariki - the Pleiades, has for many peoples marked the change from the shortening days of winter to the growing days of spring. In association with the moon cycle, it signified the start of the planting and fishing calendars. It can be viewed as the Maori New Year.

This year, a programme of visual and performing arts events has been organised by artists, with the assistance of Auckland City.

Features of the Matariki 2001 programme include Matariki Tu Mai, a visual arts exhibition to be held at Te Taumata Art Gallery and Auckland City's Artstation, as well as a training programme for Maori and Pacific Island artists.

Other highlights include the Te Paki o Matariki, a series of ceremonies to herald the observance of Matariki which will occur on Maungawhau, Maungarei and Motu Korea. A performance piece entitled Turanga - by Louise Bryant and Rachael Rakena - melds digital moving image, dance, music and installation in a dynamic expression of contemporary culture.

Auckland City community arts co-ordinator Gail Richards says: “Events within this cultural initiative are an example of the richness and variety within Maori arts and culture.”

Matariki 2001 organisers believe the programme of events will provide a creative exploration of the past, while fostering cultural understanding and sharing.

Anyone wanting more information, or a programme of events, should contact Steven Bradshaw, tel: 360 4207.


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