Matariki to be celebrated by Lake Tākapo/Tekapo

The stars will shine on the shores of Lake Takapō/Tekapo, as Matariki is celebrated in the Mackenzie.

Matariki Mackenzie, on June 28, is a festival celebrating whānau and whenua with a range of activities such as a concert featuring much-loved New Zealand bands Ardijah, 1 Drop Nation and Hone.

Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua will host this year’s festival with the inaugural evening concert a highlight, Te Upoko o Waihao, Te Wera King said.

“This year’s event is set to be an even bigger and brighter celebration of whānau and whenua,” King said.

“We’re hoping to see international travellers and whānau from all over the region connect with us through culture, kai and kōrero during the Matariki public holiday.’’


Before sunrise during New Zealand’s winter, the cluster was visible as a faint sparkle of tiny dots towards the northeast horizon.

Its appearance heralded the end of one year and the beginning of another, the Māori New Year.

The Matariki Public Holiday Bill was passed on April 7, 2022, and its first public holiday was celebrated in June that year.

King said he could not imagine anywhere better to celebrate the rise of Matariki, than in the Mackenzie.

“Takapō lies at the foot of Aoraki and is home to the country’s largest dark sky reserve – a perfect vantage point to bring in the new year,’’ he said.

“We’re particularly excited to have these amazing bands travelling to Takapō and our hope is that on the evening of the public holiday, everyone in the area will be celebrating on the lakefront with us.”

The concert was R13 and would be alcohol-free with tickets ranging in price from $25 to $50 (excluding fees).

Also, during the day, manuhiri (guests) could enjoy a variety of free activities including workshops, live music, a wearable art competition, guest speakers and guided walks along the lakefront.

Those interested were encouraged to book early for daytime events as space was limited.

Matariki Mackenzie would start at 10am on Friday, pausing briefly at 3.30pm, before the evening concert and a night market started at 5pm.

The event would finish at 10pm.

Tickets for all events were available at

- The Timaru Herald, Stuff