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Matariki 2004 Mâori New Year Festival

MEDIA RELEASE 11 June 2004

Matariki 2004 Mâori New Year Festival -
99 events planned regionwide

Auckland City is once again supporting Matariki, a month long festival which acknowledges and celebrates the Mâori New Year (Tau Hou).

This year’s events will take place across the Auckland region from 18 June to 17 July. The programme of 99 events includes visual arts, dance, music, fashion, education, observations, planting and other festivities which have been organised by Mâori. Events will take place at venues including the Museum, Stardome, AUT, Artstation, Whenua rangatira, and other important heritage sites. The events aim to provide a creative exploration of the past while fostering cultural understanding for the future.

Matariki is the Mâori name for the Pleiades star cluster in the Taurus constellation, which can be seen in New Zealand’s skies at this time of year. Traditionally, it was used to help Mâori navigate and to predict whether the coming harvest would be plentiful. It rises at dawn in June and signifies the change between the short days of winter to the growing days of spring. In association with the moon cycle, it signifies the start of the planting and fishing calendars.

Matariki has gained momentum in recent years. Iwi, hapû, whanau, schools and other community groups gather for ceremonies to observe the essence of Matariki. National and local recognition of this special time has been growing with events proving both successful and popular.

Gail Richards, Auckland City recreation and arts manager, says: “Events within this cultural initiative are an example of the richness and variety within Mâori arts and culture.”

Some highlights of this year’s Matariki events in Auckland city include. A video presentation at the Stardome Observatory, One Tree Hill Domain, on Friday, 18 June. Phone 021 262 5101. Ko Te Pukaki, a tree planting and hangi feast on Saturday, 19 June at Orakei Marae. Phone Ngarimu Blair on (09) 366 1683. A day of events at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Sunday, 20 June. Phone (09) 309 0443. Auckland City Libraries Tamaki Pataka Korero, until 2 July. Includes kapa haka, workshops about weaving and ta moko, and an exhibition of art works by youth on level two of the Central City Library. Visit www.aucklandcitylibraries.com or phone (09) 377 0209. Te Awa i Tahuti, a play written by Rena Owen, from 6 to 11 July at the Tapac performing arts centre, Motions Road, Western Springs. Phone (09) 300 3700.

Auckland City has supported the Matariki Festival annually since 2001.


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