Starry-eyed Matariki In Porirua
Matariki celebrations in Porirua will be a star-studded affair with the night sky twinkling inside Te Rauparaha Arena in a magical light installation.
Matariki, which signals the start of the Māori New Year, will be celebrated in Porirua from 3-11 July with a full programme of events.
"Matariki is a time to reflect on the past year, remember those who have passed, and set ourselves up for the year ahead. It’s also a time for thanksgiving, culture, and celebration of community. That's what our Matariki programme is all about," says Porirua Mayor Anita Baker.
Special musical performances will mark the start and the end of the festival.
Kicking off the evening series of events is ‘Opera Under the Stars’ - a three course banquet on Saturday 3 July with renowned lyric tenor Ben Makisi. Closing off the festival will be kapa haka performances from Te Kura Māori o Porirua & Guests on Sunday 11 July.
"The schools programme that we are running this year is especially exciting. Schools can book 45-minute sessions to share the experience of Matariki with their kids. The response has been amazing, with more than 1500 children enrolling already," says Mayor Baker.
The 2021 Matariki festival offers something for everybody, with a hāngi and community singalongs included.
All events will take place inside, under the spectacular starlight installation in the Arena.
There are also several community open days where anyone can come and experience the starlit space and take part in activities.
"Come down and explore the story of Matariki, do a virtual haka or use the interactive Matariki wall to send your Matariki wishes skyward - it will to be a fantastic experience for the whole whānau," says Mayor Baker.