Vibrant programme set to celebrate Puanga Matariki
A vibrant programme of workshops, games, stories, music, performances and more is set to mark the annual celebration of Puanga Matariki in Horowhenua.
Local iwi celebrate Puanga Matariki, the Māori New Year, when the Matariki stars rise in the eastern skies of New Zealand – usually May or June.
This year’s Puanga Matariki events will run from Monday 18 June to Sunday 24 June, and have been organised by Horowhenua District Council in partnership with Muaūpoko Tribal Authority.
The events will be held at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō in Levin and Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton.
Programme activities are free and include a karakia, exhibitions, workshops, Starlab planetarium and a concert.
An exhibition of contemporary weaving, Te Marama Puta – Emerging Light, will be held throughout Matariki to display the works of nine weavers from Te Kokiri Development Consultancy. The weavers represent different iwi as well as other communities. During the exhibition, the weavers will offer interactive activities for the public, including finger string games and plaiting workshops using harakeke (flax).
There will be plenty of events for families, including two classes led by Punahau Early Childhood Care Centre to introduce children to Puanga Matariki – one in English at 10am on Wednesday 20 June and one in Te Reo Māori at 10am on Thursday 21 June.
Families will also be able to experience sand picture storytelling at 6pm on Friday 22 June, followed by Māori song and dance in a primary school kapa haka showcase at 6:30pm.
A community kai and performance from Levin East Kapa Haka at 5pm on Saturday 23 June, supported by Te Kokiri Development Consultancy, will bring families together to enjoy good food and entertainment with a community spirit.
A Sunday concert at 2pm on Sunday 24 June by premier New Zealand blues artist Bullfrog Rata is to bring a musical close to the official celebrations.
The Matariki observances continue after the official programme ends, with the Starlab planetarium at Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom offering a school programme and public sessions on Wednesday 4 July.
All other events on the Matariki programme will take place at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō.