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Dannevirke Comes Alive for Matariki

Media Release – 4 June 2014

“Dannevirke Comes Alive for Matariki”

The stars have aligned and the new year has begun for Ngāti Kahungunu as Dannevirke comes alive for a celebration of Matariki.

Local Kaumātua filled the Ruahine Rugby Football Club hall last Friday to launch local festivities at a wine and cheese evening hosted by Kahungunu Ki Tāmaki-nui-a-Rua. The evening included the screening of “Longfin”, a documentary showing the extraordinary lifestyle of the long fin eel (tuna) and the hard work of those involved in its survival.

“Matariki is a time for us to reflect, set new goals and celebrate”, said Hayden Hape, Chairman of the Kahungunu ki Tāmaki-Nui-a-Rua Taiwhenua.

The Taiwhenua will open their new office on High Street at a dawn ceremony on Friday 6th June. “Norsewood based master carver Jeff Bryan has carved an extraordinary piece to stand outside our building. It’s an eye catching statement, second to none for our region”, said Hayden.

A free community concert will round off celebrations at the Dannevirke Town Hall on Friday. The line-up includes Homai Te Pakipaki winner William (Wiz) Tokelau, L-40, Nofo Jay, DJ Rassic, Rezpect Dance Academy, Toni Huata and Te Aute College. There are hot food stalls, hangi, prizes and arts and crafts.

The free Matariki concert starts at 6pm on Friday 6th June at the Dannevirke Town Hall.

About Matariki

Matariki (Pleiades) is a group of seven stars that appear on the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn sky from late May to late July each year. The first sign of the new moon heralds the arrival of Matariki and signals a time of thanksgiving to welcome the new year planting season with feasting, fun and festivity.

About Ngāti Kahungunu

Ngāti Kahungunu has the third largest iwi population. The 2013 NZ Census and Local Government statistics show that 61,626 people or 9.2 percent of the Maori population belong to Ngāti Kahungunu.

A large percentage of Kahungunu people reside outside the traditional iwi boundaries. Many more, not included in the census count, reside overseas. Geographically, Ngāti Kahungunu has the second largest tribal rohe in the country, from the Wharerata ranges in the Wairoa District extending to Cape Palliser in South Wairarapa. The coastal boundaries are Paritu in the North to Turakirae in the South.

About Kahungunu ki Tāmaki-nui-a-Rua

Kahungunu ki Tāmaki-nui-a-Rua Trust is dedicated to supporting hapū by working together to enhance opportunities for development in Tararua.


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