Spectacular start to Matariki Festival 2017

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Auckland, June 2, 2017

The stars aligned last night to reveal an impressive three-week programme of events for Auckland Councils Matariki Festival 2017, Aucklands premier mid-winter festival.

The special event at Aucklands Town Hall marked the transfer of the festivals host iwi from Ngati Paoa to Ngati Manuhiri in 2017.

Festival goes digital

Under a starry night sky, mana whenua, festival partners and guests gathered to watch a preview of the spectacular outdoor light show, Whetu Marama, a collection of Maori patterns, starscapes and landscapes by the late storyteller Peter Gossage and daughters Star, Aroha and Ra.

Harnessing the power of digital technology and an original waiata, their captivating, award-winning art set Aucklands historic town hall alight. It will then light up each night from June 10 to June 16, during the first week of Matariki Festival 2017 which runs from June 10 to July 2.

Celebrations galore

This years festival opening weekend is filled with celebrations, starting with a Matariki Dawn Karakia on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Aucklanders are warmly invited to join host iwi, Ngati Manuhiri at Tawharanui Regional Park to welcome in the Maori New Year.

As night rolls in, join the joyful parade of illuminated bikes, wheelchairs and skateboards on a magical journey along Aucklands waterfront as Touch Compass Dance Company perform their aerial dance-theatre InMotion Matariki.

Send messages to your ancestors at Manu Aute Kite Dayon Sunday, June 11, where kites will symbolically connect the realms of the heavens and earth.

Fly your own kite, or watch kites of all shapes and sizes dance in the sky above three focal points across Auckland; Orakei Marae, Manurewas Manu Tukutuku at Randwick Park or at Winstone Park in Puketapapa (Mt Roskill).

Stunning series

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said that Matariki is an important occasion that gives people the opportunity to discover and learn about our Mori culture and traditions.

Our Maori identity and Matariki Festival are unique to Aotearoa. Matariki is a great time to reflect, look forward and connect with friends and whnau and celebrate our diverse community.

Popular Te Korakora on Federal, in collaboration with Sky City, takes its place in the festival for the second year. The Matariki-style street party will ignite and transform Aucklands most popular central city street into a carnival of Mori inspired food and a spectacle of music and dance from talented Mori performers.

Other highlights

Other highlights during the festival include; the performing arts tour Matariki on the Move, Matariki light shows Stellar and Te Ara Rama and a Kapa Haka extravaganza featuring performances from some of Aotearoas most successful kapa haka at The Cloud on Saturday July 1.

Festival Director Ataahua Papa said that the lineup for Matariki 2017 features a wide range of community and signature events that bring together traditional and modern Mori performing arts.

This years festival is a fantastic fusion of fun, knowledge and family orientated activities. Together with our host iwi Ngati Manuhiri, we invite Aucklanders and visitors to embrace the Matariki Festival spirit and join the many Maori New Year celebrations.

Principal partner Te Wananga o Aotearoa is proud to support Aucklands Matariki Festival for a second year.

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