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Star-studded programme for Matariki Festival 2011

Star-studded programme for Matariki Festival 2011

18 May 2011: Star-studded concerts, a new play’s premiere, traditional Māori food, a spectacular showcase of kites and a special kapa haka competition are all part of Auckland’s Matariki Festival 2011, on from 4 June to 4 July to celebrate Māori New Year.

The Māori New Year has always been an important time in the Māori calendar and this year’s Matariki Festival features an exciting programme of events and activities to give everyone a chance to experience this living cultural tradition with tangata whenua and join in the celebrations at this special time of year.

The festival includes a number of events proudly presented by Auckland Council, festival sponsors and supporters, along with a wide range of events and activities arranged by other organisations in the community to showcase Māori culture and creativity for all to enjoy.

The Mayor says world-class, unique events like the annual Matariki Festival are key to achieving his vision of Tamaki Makaurau being the world’s most liveable city.

“The festival provides a wide range of wonderful events for all Aucklanders to enjoy and also provides a special opportunity to attract visitors and to showcase talented people in our community and our unique cultural heritage too,” says Len Brown, who will officially launch the Matariki Festival 2011 programme at a special function on 26 May.

“Given more Maori live here than in any other city in the world it is great to see the Matariki Festival going from strength to strength and I encourage everyone to brighten up their lives this winter by taking advantage of the events and activities included in this uniquely New Zealand celebration.”

Key events in Matariki Festival 2011 include:

TĪRAMARAMA – a star-studded concert that will showcase contemporary Māori music with performances from artists including Australian Idol winner Stan Walker, Adeaze, the Nathan Haines Band and Ardijah - all singing acoustically as well as accompanied by the Auckland Chamber Orchestra. Dr Charles Te Ahukaramu Royal will also present a new composition combining taonga puoro (traditional Maori instruments) with classical orchestration and the evening will culminate with the orchestra and all vocalists coming together to perform New Zealand’s most iconic waiata, Pokarekare Ana. (A ticketed event on Friday 24 June, 7.30pm at the Aotea Centre, THE EDGE - 0800BUYTICKETS or www.buytickets.co.nz)

2DEGREES KAPA HAKA SUPER 12s - new to the festival, this event will provide a unique opportunity to see some of Aotearoa’s leading kapa haka groups compete Each group will be limited to 12 performers and have just 12 minutes to wow the judges and impress the audience with their waiata (song), poi and haka performances in what promises to be an electrifying display of Māori talent not-to-be-missed. (A ticketed event on Saturday 18 June, 10am-5pm at the Auckland Town Hall, The EDGE - 0800BUYTICKETS or www.buytickets.co.nz)
NEW WORLD MATARIKI WĀNANGA-A-KAI – food has always been an integral part of New Year celebrations and this new multi-faceted food forum offers a special opportunity to discover traditional Māori ingredients and kai through demonstrations and tastings hosted by chef Rewi Spraggon along with the chance to participate in a hāngi-making workshop. There’s also an associated traditional Māori bread making competition. (Demonstrations/tastings: 7 – 8 June, 6.30pm - 9pm, Grand Foyer, Auckland Museum – free, but registration required. Hāngi-making workshop: Saturday 18 June, 10am-6pm, Te Tahawai Marae, Pakuranga – free. For more details on the New World Rēwena Parāoa Baking Competition visit www.matarikifestival.org.nz.)

MANU AUTE KITE DAY SUPPORTED BY NEW ZEALAND POST – one of the most popular events in the programme, this annual festival favourite reflects the traditional Māori custom of flying kites to welcome in the new year and provide a connection to old times. It features a showcase of spectacular kites and offers an opportunity for everyone to fly their own kites and to enjoy traditional kite-making workshops, storytelling sessions and kapa haka performances - making it a wonderful day out for the whole family. (A free event on Saturday 2 July, 10am-5pm, Orakei Marae, Orakei Reserve – or on Sunday 3 July if rain-delayed.)

TUAKANA-TEINA PROJECT: TE AWARUA AND STRONG HANDS – the Tuakana-Teina Project is an initiative that brings together two Maori writers in a mentoring relationship, resulting in the double-bill presentation of one new and one classic play in a unique celebration of Māori theatre. The two plays are: Te Awarua - written by award-winning playwright and Tuakana (mentor) Albert Belz, directed by Tainui Tukiwaho; and Strong Hands - devised by Teina (mentee) Michael Rewiri Thorsen and Hekama Creative. (A ticketed event from 15 – 17 June, 7.30pm at Auckland Town Hall, The EDGE - 0800BUYTICKETS or www.buytickets.co.nz.)

UNITEC PRESENTS NGĀ KŌRERO TĀTAKI - LEADERSHIP CONVERSATION – three nights of stimulating conversations with some of New Zealand’s leading creative entrepreneurs and business experts on Māori economic development. (A free event on Wednesday 8, 15 and 22 June, 7pm in Building 510, Waitakere campus, UNITEC, Henderson.)

Matariki Festival 2011 is proudly sponsored by New Zealand Post, Flava and the stations of The Radio Network, 2degrees, Unitec Institute of Technology and New World, and is supported by Creative New Zealand, Māori Television and THE EDGE.

More information, including details of all of the events, activities and competitions incorporated into the festival, is available on www.matarikifestival.org.nz.

ENDS

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