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Nelson’s Matariki Festival and Star Party

Nelson’s Matariki Festival and Star Party a grand finale to 2019 Māori New Year celebrations

2 July 2019

Nelsonians will get a chance to celebrate the 2019 Māori New Year at the Matariki Festival and Tātai Arorangi (Star Party) on Saturday 20 July.

The star cluster Matariki appears in our skies in the month of Pipiri (June–July), with the festival coming as a grand finale to this year’s Nelson Matariki calendar.

Nelson City Council invites family and friends to Founders Heritage Park to celebrate with us.

Gaile Noonan, Chair of the Community Services Committee says, the Matariki Festival and Star Party is an excellent new winter event for the community to gather together.

“It is a great opportunity to bring people together to celebrate the Māori New Year through Māori language, culture and cuisine,” Gaile says.

The Matariki Festival starts at 3 pm and includes movie alfresco, along with Kapa Haka performances by Nelson schools travelling to the Te Mana Kuratahi National Primary School Competition: Te Pouahi (Nelson Central School), Te Pītau Whakarei (Nelson Intermediate) and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia Te Matangi.

The Tātai Arorangi (Star Party) begins with stargazing from 6.30 – 8 pm, supported by the Nelson Science Society.

Guest speaker Toa Waaka (Vice President of the Society of Māori Astronomy) will share stories of the Māori creation story, cosmology and insights of how Māori used the night sky for navigation.

There will be a range of Māori kai/cuisine, entertainment and activities available, so wrap up warm and bring your whanau along for a night with the stars.

Event details
What: Matariki Festival and Tātai Arorangi (Star Party).
When: Saturday 20 July, 3-8pm
Where: Energy Centre, Founders Heritage Park, Nelson.
Bring: Your bean bags and winter woollies along for a night of stargazing.
Cost: Gold coin entry fee, while kai/cuisine will be available for purchase.


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