Manukau will welcome Matariki, the Maori New Year, with a month-long extravaganza of exciting events throughout the city.
The celebrations begin on 24 June with theme ‘Matariki mai te rangi ki te whenua’ (from the skies to the land), and feature a number of events in parks, libraries and arts centres.
From art exhibitions in Mangere Arts Centre and Nathan Homestead, to a kite making workshop and Harakeke flax weaving at Barry Curtis Park, glow worm walks at Totara Park, Matariki star gazing at Mangere Mountain, Maketu Tuna book launch at Botany library, there are plenty of events for the whole family.
Hot on the heels of three sell-out shows at Auckland Festival 2009, Tama Waipara presents Sir+Plus and The Requirements at TelstraClear Pacific events centre, in a fresh and exciting approach to the theatre and music of old school cabaret. Fusing musical icons such as Prince Tui Teka, Kid Creole and Burt Bacharach with a touch of funk and groove, Sir Plus is Manukau’s premier event during the Matariki celebrations.
This is a time for all of us to come together to celebrate our diversity, says Manukau Mayor Len Brown. “I am very excited about the line-up of events to celebrate Matariki. Our city hosts one of the most culturally diverse communities, and I’m sure that these art exhibitions, book launches, story time, park ranger walk and talk, and other events will offer free and fun activities for all, in these difficult economic times.”
These events are also part of Auckland's regional Matariki Festival, celebrating Maori New Year with a range of events and activities across Tamaki Makaurau. To find out more about what's going on visit www.matarikifestival.org.nz. Matariki Festival 09 is proudly supported by New Zealand Post. Sir+Plus and the Requirements perform in Manukau with the support of SKYCITY.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster which appears in the pre-dawn sky in the last few days of May. Some people think of Matariki as a mother star with six daughters and it is often referred to as the Seven Sisters. The pre-dawn rising of the star cluster Matariki is significant to Maori and is referred to as 'Te tau hou', the New Year.
Matariki is traditionally a time that connects Maori to the land and the sea. It signalled a time of harvesting crops and navigation and weather patterns were also observed through this time of Matariki. During mid-winter, people would traditionally gather to acknowledge their past, honour their present and plan for the New Year ahead.