National | Matariki

Matariki across the motu: What's on

Photo / Quin Tauetau / RNZ

Matariki marks the beginning of the Māori new year, so here's how you can celebrate Matariki with these events taking place around the motu this weekend.

The chief advisor to the government on the subject says there is something in Matariki for everyone.

Professor Rangi Mātāmua said this year the festivities were a lot more regionalised, which had been pleasing to see.

So here's how you can get involved.



WHAT: Te Tau Hou Māori Puanga Matariki - a free festival with music, storytellers, kapa haka, food trucks and the special Puanga Matariki display at 7pm.

WHEN: 4-7.30pm, Friday, July 14

WHERE: Paihia Waterfront, Paihia (best viewing from Zane Grey's to Bay View Rd and along the Paihia Wharf)


WHAT: Umu Kohukohu Whetū - join Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei on their whenua Takaparawhau to light umu (earth ovens) before sunrise and welcome the Māori new year with food offerings to the Matariki cluster.

WHEN: From 5-9am, Friday, July 14

WHERE: Takaparawhau - Bastion Point, Ōrākei Marae - 59B Kitemoana Street, Ōrākei

WHAT: Matariki Festival Day - lots of waiata, kapa haka, kiriata (movies), Māori gaming experts, indigenous craft and kai, Māori designers and Māori food trucks to keep the whole whānau entertained in this free, family-friendly festival.

WHEN: 12-6pm, Friday, July 14

WHERE: Auckland Town Hall, 301-317 Queen St, Auckland CBD


WHAT: With live music from Son & Water, YAHYAH, Te Pou-o-Mangataawhiri and Late 80s Mercedes from 5pm, free activities for tamariki (light displays, star-making and taa moko - face painting), waiata and haka performances, there's lots to enjoy at this free family event. BYO picnic or take advantage of the on-site food trucks.

WHEN: From 4pm, Saturday 15 July

WHERE: Hamilton Lake Domain, Hamilton


WHAT: Matariki I Runga - join this free guided walk to the summit of Mauao to view the Matariki cluster with navigator Jack Thatcher.

WHEN: 6-7.30am, Friday, July 14

WHERE: Meet at the summit of Mauao


WHAT: Te Pō Kitakita - A Matariki Celebration at The Arts Village, with music, kapa haka, toi Māori, mural painting and (but wait, there's more!) free hot chocolate for kids.

WHEN: 5.30-8.30pm, Thursday July 13

WHERE: The Arts Village, 1240 Hinemaru St, Rotorua


WHAT: Learn about Matariki with storytelling, waiata and kapa haka, with a special focus on the Taupō district and the traditional knowledge of Ngāti Tuwharetoa.

WHEN: 10-11am, Saturday, July 15

WHERE: Tapuaeharuru Lakefront Taupō (alternative venue in case of bad weather: Taupō Museum)

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Photo: RNZ


WHAT: Matariki Mahuika/Home Fires - join your Hawke's Bay friends and whānau to watch the entire Napier-Hastings shoreline set on fire. This is a DIY event - build your own bonfire or join in with others.

WHEN: From 5pm, Saturday July 15

WHERE: Cape Kidnappers to Tangoio, Hawkes Bay


WHAT: TSB Festival of Lights Winter Pop-Up event, with eight light installations along the Coastal Walkway at sites along Huatoki Plaza.

WHEN: From 5-10pm, Thursday, July 13 to Sunday, July 16

WHERE: Sites along Huatoki Plaza to the Coastal Walkway, New Plymouth CBD


WHAT: Puanga Twilight Festival - kapa haka, sets by local artists and a headline performance from Wellington collective Toi, plus food trucks, lighting displays and bouncy castles for tamariki.

WHEN: From 3-7.30pm, Friday, July 14

WHERE: Central Energy Trust Arena - Pit Lane, 61 Pascal Street, Palmerston North Central.


WHAT: Matariki Ahi Kā - projections, performances, fire and kai - stretching around the Wellington waterfront. Don't miss Mana Moana Ponēke - projections on to the water at Whairepo Lagoon.

WHEN: 6-9pm, Friday July 14-Sunday, July 16

WHERE: Wellington waterfront



WHAT: Te Huihui-o-Matariki - an all-day event that includes the Taka Kara Tīpuna, the Regional Secondary School Kapa Haka Competitions, a Matariki market and live music performances from Maaka Fiso, Awhimai Fraser and the Modern Māori Quartet.

WHEN: 9am-9pm, Friday 14 July

WHERE: Trafalgar Centre and Rutherford Park, Nelson


Matariki: NASA


WHAT: Tīrama Mai - a free festival of light and sound featuring dazzling lighting installations, projections and illuminated artworks. Plus, live readings of Matariki stories and Māori legends performed around the fire pit in Victoria Square from 6-8pm, and fire and light shows at the Te Atamira Performance Zone from 8-9pm. Food trucks on site will keep your whānau well-fed.

WHEN: 5-10pm, 13-15 July

WHERE: Victoria Square, cnr Colombo and Armagh Sts, Christchurch Central


WHAT: Te Hikoi o Ngā Whetū - toi Māori, light installations, storytelling, entertainment and kai stalls.

WHEN: From 5.30-10pm, Friday, July 14 to Tuesday, July 18

WHERE: Queens Park, Invercargill


WHAT: Matariki Ahuka Nui - a full day of Matariki activities, beginning with a karakia just before dawn, to farewell the past year and welcome the new one. The dawn event will be followed by kai, then a range of cool stuff to do and learn, including hands-on arts (pick up a free art activity book from the museum foyer, or join a screenprinting session at 4pm), music (Dr Jennifer Cattermole will be playing a variety of taoka pūoro - traditional Māori instruments, Tenaya Brown performs live at 12 noon), kete weaving with local kairaranga Lucy Smith, and demonstrations of mau rākau (traditional Māori martial arts).

WHERE: Tūhura Otago Museum Reserve, 419 Great King St, Ōtepoti Dunedin

WHEN: Friday2, July 14, 6:45am-9pm


WHAT: Feast Matariki Mahika Kai workshops - how to process ika and how to process tītī - and a Mahika Kai dinner.

WHERE: Traill Park, Golden Bay Road, Oban

WHEN: Workshops ($45) take place at 10.30am and 2pm on Friday 14 July and Saturday 15 July. A free community dinner (5.30pm) takes place on Saturday, July 15