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Celebrate Matariki 2008 in Manukau

Media Release

23 May 2008

Celebrate Matariki 2008 in Manukau

Matariki, the Maori New Year, will be celebrated throughout June and July with events in Manukau City Council’s libraries and arts centres.

At Manukau Libraries the theme is “He Kāhui whetu” acknowledging our most distinctive stars. Raranga (weaving), Maori medicine and film screenings (courtesy of the NZ Film Archives) are just some of the wonderful events celebrating Matariki at your local library.

For the first time, Toi o Manukau is running a stand-alone Manukau programme of Matariki events called Matariki ki Manukau, with funding from ASB Community Trust. Manukau Arts hosts exhibitions featuring work by Maori artists including photography, glass work and printmaking. TelstraClear Pacific hosts a major raranga/whatu weaving exhibition and the Honouring Theatre Festival, a series of contemporary indigenous plays from New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts has storytelling sessions catering to young children and the young at heart and a free hangi feast and Uxbridge hosts an exhibition of artwork by students from eight local colleges, a fibre canoe-making workshop, story-telling and outdoor hangi.

Manukau Mayor Len Brown says, “I encourage all Manukau residents to join in the celebrations. Matariki is a special time in our city and I’m sure all the themed exhibitions, story-telling events and performances will be wonderful experiences for all who are able to attend them.”

A full list of Manukau Library and Matariki Ki Manukau events is attached and is also available at www.manukau.govt.nz or www.matarikifestival.org.nz


Notes to editors:

About Matariki

Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster which appears in the pre-dawn sky in the last few days of May. Some people think of Matariki as a mother star with six daughters and it is often referred to as the Seven Sisters.

The pre-dawn rising of the star cluster Matariki is significant to Maori and is referred to as 'Te tau hou', the New Year.

Matariki was traditionally a time to connect Maori to land and seafood, harvesting, navigation, and weather patterns. During mid-winter, people would traditionally gather to acknowledge their past, honour their present and plan for the new year ahead.

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