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The stars align for Auckland Live’s Matariki celebrations

The stars align for Auckland Live’s Matariki celebrations

A stellar lineup of theatre, music, dance and world premieres for Māori New Year will light up Auckland Live when top Aotearoa talent headlines venues in the Aotea Arts Quarter this May and June.

From Monday 12 June an array of Matariki shows will be on offer at Auckland Live.

Audiences will be able to relive the big dreams and small town tensions in 1960’s New Zealand in Te Puhi; immerse themselves in the New Zealand Dance Company’s world premiere of Kiss the Sky; and take a musical journey from Ngāruawāhia to Wellington with Larger Than Life.
In addition, A Day at Auckland Live, which is already fully booked, will offer tamariki the chance to watch inspirational performances and take part in theatre workshops with Freshman’s Dance Crew and Te Rēhia Theatre Company.

Auckland Live director, Robbie Macrae, says Matariki is traditionally a time of reflection, to remember our tupuna and to give thanks.

He says this season it will also be a great time to celebrate the brilliant lineup of live arts and performances on offer in Tāmaki Makaurau, from contemporary new works to free kid’s entertainment to traditional Māori art forms.

“Toi Māori is a taonga, and we’re very committed to ensuring audiences have an opportunity to experience the broadest range of work on offer,” says Mr Macrae.

“This Matariki, young and old will all find something that resonates with them, not only at Auckland Live but across the Aotea Arts Quarter,” he says.

Set against the backdrop of 1960s New Zealand, WAITĪ Productions presents Te Puhi, an inspiring coming of age story about the first Māori wāhine to be crowned Miss New Zealand. Te Puhi is a tribute to Maureen Kingi, Moana Whaanga and Keita White, the first Māori wāhine beauty queens. Te Puhi plays from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 June, Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre.

New Zealand Dance Company’s Kiss The Sky is a triple bill of extraordinary contemporary dance playing on the theme of the seasons, the southern sky and time. Kiss The Sky will play from Thursday 29 June to Saturday 1 July at the Bruce Mason Centre.

From Te Rēhia Theatre Company, the creators of SolOthello and Hoki Mai Tama Mā, comes Larger than Life, a story packed with aroha and laughs, set in the golden days of Māori show bands. The development season of Larger Than Life plays from Friday 30 June to Saturday 1 July, Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre.

This year the Aotea Square Ice Rink, operating throughout Matariki, will be complimented by a free Winter Garden café, lit up in celebration of the new year.

More details on Auckland Live shows can be found at

Also in the Aotea Arts Quarter, Basement Theatre’s Matariki offerings include Poropiti and I Ain't Mad at Cha, from Tuesday 20 to Saturday 24 June at the Basement Studio; and Lick My Past and Hair Today – Teasing and Beyond from Tuesday 27 June to Saturday 1 July. For a full lineup of Basement’s Matariki Festival celebrations in Auckland please visit

At Q Theatre, Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen’s The Mooncake and the Kūmara will have a return season from Wednesday 28 June - Saturday 8 July. For details

The Q Theatre season is presented as part of the Matariki Festival 2017, delivered by Auckland Council in partnership with Ngāti Manuhiri. For a full lineup of celebrations across Auckland this Matariki, visit

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