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Hamilton celebrates Matariki

Hamilton residents can attend several events to mark Matariki, the Maaori new year.

Matariki is a time of renewal and celebration beginning with the rising of the Matariki star cluster, also known as pleiades. Traditionally, it is a time for remembering those who have passed away and also celebrating new life. In recent years Matariki has become popular in communities as a time of reflection with cultural events.

The annual Matariki Ki Waikato festival turns 10 this year, generating major collaboration among more than 20 groups and organisations.

Hamilton City Libraries will celebrate the Maaori New Year with its Matariki in the City, a fun and free event bringing together communities to perform and take part in activities raising and celebrating awareness of Matariki. Taking place on Saturday 22 June from 10am, Matariki in the City will include stage performances from local groups and artists including Harmonic Resonators, Daniel and Ashley music duo, and Brotherhood Musiq. Maaori TV personality Kawe Roes will be sharing stories around Matariki and there will be a variety of Maaori games to play.

“We are delighted to be hosting an event to acknowledge Matariki at Hamilton Central Library,” says Aaron Martin, Children’s and Teens’ Librarian.

“The event will commemorate bringing the old lunar year to a close and marking the beginning of the new with opportunities to learn about taongo puoro, traditional Maaori musical instruments and how to make your own purerehua spinning disks.”



Waikato Museum has a range of free events planned for Matariki. Starting on 6 July with a Matariki at the Museum-Taatai Whetuu, an interactive day during which people can take part, listen, learn and take something meaningful away about Matariki with you. There is also an opportunity to visit the museum’s astronomy exhibition Te Whaanau Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies. This exhibition will give an insight into the modern Maaori astronomy and a better understanding of the history and meaning of Matariki.

The Meteor Theatre hosts events from 19 June to 11 June to celebrate Matariki’s tenth year of celebration. Opening with the launch of the He Muri Aroha, an exhibition by Atawhai Edwards in celebration of Matariki ki Waikato. This exhibition acknowledges the start of a new dawn and celebrates what has been and what is to come. Following the exhibition launch, there will be four days of back to back Matariki events at The Meteor including Matariki Literary Salon Stanza 16, a panel discussion event.

Find out about other Matariki events in the Waikato


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