Dunedin’s Puaka Matatriki Festival starts next week

Dunedin (Friday, 29 June 2018) – Dunedin’s annual celebration of the start of the Māori New Year, the Puaka Matariki Festival, begins next Friday, 6 July.

Marking the midwinter reappearance of the lone star Puaka (Rigel) and star cluster Matariki (Pleiades), the Puaka Matariki Festival is a time to reflect, prepare for the season ahead and farewell those who have passed on.

Festival Coordinator Vicki Lenihan says the start of this year’s festivities has been timed to follow advice from tohunga astronomer, Rangi Matamua, about the correct dates to observe the rising of the stars.

“With 46 events being held throughout the festival, right across the city, I hope everyone in Ōtepoti Dunedin finds a way to participate in our annual celebration of our stories, told by us. Whether you’re interested in astronomy, gardening, marine ecology, sailing, upcycling, live music, visual arts, dance – there’s something for you in this year’s programme.”

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull, says the festival is a key fixture in the city’s event calendar.

“The Dunedin City Council recognises the significance of this time of year to mana whenua and takes great pride in celebrating Māori New Year through the Puaka Matariki Festival.

“It is a wonderful celebration of community and learning – two aspects of Dunedin culture we are deservedly well-known for. It’s great to see another expansive range of events in this year’s programme for the whole community to enjoy,” says Mr Cull.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the festival. The full programme is available on our Events page.

Nau mai, haere mai, tautimai!