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Matariki festival lights up the west

Media Release
June 18, 2009

Matariki festival lights up the west

Art, music, film and thought-provoking insights on environmental and cultural sustainability make up an impressive line up for Matariki celebrations in Waitakere this year.

The Matariki Festival 09 runs 24 June - 24 July with events across the Auckland region and whatever your artistic tastes, you will be spoilt for choice this year.

“Matariki is without a doubt one of the highlights of the region’s cultural calendar,” says chair of Waitakere City Council’s Culture and Community Committee, Judy Lawley.

“As well as exposing the community to a rich and diverse range of traditional, arts, crafts and entertainment the festival is a chance to learn more about the cultural significance of Matariki to Maori.”

In Waitakere the month of celebration kicks off on June 26 with a spectacular opening night, Te Mārama o Matariki (The Light of Matariki) at Corban Estate Arts Centre (CEAC) in Henderson.

It will feature outdoor sculptures, a pyrotechnic and fire interpretation of Matariki. It also marks the start of an exhibition of the same name, running June 27 to August 9.

Featured artists include Richard Wedekind, Tracey Tawhaio, Toi-Te-Rangiuaia, Todd Douglas, Brydee Rood, Tanya Ruka, Penny Howard, Tony Brown, Isla Osborne, Ronald Andreassend and Anne Field.

CEAC also hosts a Maori film night on July 3, featuring a series of short films in association with the Wairoa Maori Film Festival Society. Titles include Tangaroa God of the Sea, Shadows, Journey to Ihipa, Patu Ihu, Aphrodite’s Farm, Graffiti of Mr Tuipaia and Tuia.

Waitakere’s signature event of the festival is Nga Korero Tataki (Leadership Conversations) - New Thinking for Old Leadership on July 14, 15 and 16 at the Waitakere City Council chambers.

Organised and hosted by the council, this symposium explores the concept of environmental and cultural sustainability through contemporary and traditional Maori thinking. A great line-up of speakers is being put together for what is sure to be a series that will challenge people’s thinking.

If you love music then the Matariki Music Night at Corban Arts Estate on July 18 is the place to be. This is a rare chance to enjoy the talents of some of the country’s leading Maori performers, including Tama Waipara featuring songs from the album Sir + Plus and the Requirements, Maisey Rika, Horo Horomona, Mahina Kaui, Selector Exile, and VJ Aue.

There are plenty of art events for children throughout the month. The sparking stars of Matariki, Nga Ramarama Whetu o Matariki on July 21 sees Hoani Waititi Marae working with local köhanga reo on an event that will see children producing masks depicting the whänau of Matariki.

West Coast Gallery in Piha also has a school arts programme, Te Ahurei o Matariki while the
Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust will hold Pikihia Nga Maunga Climbing Those Mountains – a forum with a positive message for youth.

Waitakere’s Matariki events are a part of Auckland's regional Matariki Festival, celebrating Maori New Year with a range of events and activities across Tamaki Makarau. To find out more about what's going on visit www.matarikifestival.org.nz

Matariki Festival 09 is proudly supported by New Zealand Post.

What is Matariki?
Matariki is the Maori name for the star cluster commonly known as Pleiades or The Seven Sisters. When translated Matariki it means tiny eyes or eyes of god. It is often referred to as Maori New Year.


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