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Matariki is based on early traditions, and something special for all New Zealanders to share. It connects us with our unique Maori heritage, nature and creative expression.
This year's Auckland regional festival hosts an exciting programme of over 50 events and activities at various venues from 5 June to 5 July. Many of these are free.
The festival lets people get involved, learn about Maori culture and try something new.
Matariki Festival regional coordinator Mei Hill says the festival is gaining popularity.
"It's heartening that so many people everywhere are interested in experiencing Maori culture – Matariki is the perfect way in.
"Matariki signals the beginning of a new cycle of life and a time to reflect on the previous year. It's a time to acknowledge Te Tau Hou (Maori new year)," she says.
The festival features short films, art exhibitions, concerts from many local artists, tree planting, traditional food, workshops and educational sessions.
Native Noise on Friday 4 July at 7.30pm
A concert featuring leading Kiwi musicians in the historic setting of the Auckland Town Hall. Performers include Kora, Katchafire, Tiki Taane, Ladi 6, DJ Poroufessor.
E Whitu Nga Whetu on Monday 28 June at 7.30pm
The Rauru artists collective presents an evening of star-gazing with a fine selection of Maori-inspired designer fashion, food and drinks. This spectacular showcase at Hopetoun Alpha will feature live entertainment including leading musicians, poets and designers.
Matariki Festival 2008 is supported by Auckland City Council in collaboration with Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere city councils, Creative New Zealand and the Arts Regional Trust through the regional Maori arts development reference group Toi Whenua.
Visit www.matarikifestival.org.nz for more information and a full programme of events.