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!

Brockville School Matariki Community Celebration

Piki mai, tauti mai! Brockville folk are invited to Brockville School to celebrate Puaka Matariki with songs, video, art work and stories, followed by shared kai of soup and bread prepared by the whole school and served by the senior students.

Brockville School Hall, 263 Brockville Road, Brockville

Friday 29 June, 1‒3pm. FREE

Contact tania@brockville.school.nz         03 476 3717

Māori Hill School Matariki Celebration

This year, we are excited to be holding our very special Matariki Celebration in the evening! Our school children will prepare for Puaka Matariki through sharing stories, language, art and music. The event begins with a lantern parade to the chapel where each class and group will share their learning with whānau and the community. Our kapa haka and choir will perform then we will follow the lanterns out of the chapel. A wonderful time for our school whānau and community!

John McGlashan College chapel, 2 Pilkington Street, Māori Hill

Thursday 28 June, 5.30‒7pm. Gold coin koha

Contact office@maorihill.school.nz          03 464 0184              maorihill.school.nz

Big Rock Primary Brighton Matariki Celebration

Nau mai, haere mai! The wider Brighton community is invited to join our Puaka Matariki celebration. Our school kaumatua will lead our kapa haka with blessings and waiata, and the tamariki will decorate Brighton Hall and help prepare the evening’s hākari of hāngī and pig on a spit when they will share with whānau what they have learnt about the significance of the winter stars.

Hāngī tickets available from the school – $25 per whānau.

Big Rock Primary, 2 Bath Street, Brighton

Wednesday 27 June, from 9am

Contact David Grant       principal@bigrock.school.nz        03 481 1781


Storytelling at Matariki

Renowned local storyteller Kaitrin McMullan will entertain, amuse and delight Dunedin kindergarten children, teachers and whānau with Puaka Matariki stories from around the Pacific. Kindergartens will invite families and wider community to attend special gatherings, and depending on the time of day they will go outside and look for the ‘super stars’ of the sky.

Contact your local kindy – Bayfield, Halfway Bush, Port Chalmers, Richard Hudson, Rotary Park, Saint Clair, Wakari – for details.

Mana Manaaki Puawai o Ōtepoti – Dunedin Kindergartens

Tuesday 5 June to Friday 6 July; various times – each kindergarten will host the story teller at a time to suit them. FREE

Contact lee@dk.org.nz                 027 224 8543              dunedinkindergartens.org.nz