If you’re in Christchurch and looking to celebrate the arrival of Matariki next Thursday, June 2,1 head along to Rehua Marae in Springfield Road on Saturday, June 30. There’s a big fun day organised, running from 10am to 4pm. It will featured a range of stalls and workshops, and live music from 1-2pm.
Look out for talented Ngāi Tahu jeweller, Areta Wilkinson, who will be running a workshiop on the day; and Ron te Kawa, who will be running a screen-printing workshop. There will also be an art exhibition at the marae from June 25.
Christchurch City Libraries are also running a programme of events and celebrations, including Matariki storytimes for pre-schoolers at various suburban libraries and a Storybkllanket display from June 25-30.
Further afield, but well worth the trip, Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre in Timaru will host a day of fun family activities and a night of fiery entertainment on Saturday, June 23 in celebration of the traditional Maori New Year.
The rising of the Matariki constellation – also known as the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters – marks a time for people to come together, reflect on the past year and celebrate the year to come, curator Amanda Symon says. Te Ana will celebrate the event with a day of activities with a celestial theme, including weaving stars from harakeke (flax) and creating mahere whetu (star charts). In the evening, the Firebugs Performance Group and Arowhenua and Te Aitarakihi kapa haka groups will give a fire and kapa haka performance telling the story of Mahuika, the goddess of fire, and Maui, the trickster who stole her fiery fingernails. The entertainment will include fire poi, fire whip, fire staff, fire eating, fire breathing and fire sculpture.
The event is sponsored by New Zealand Post as part of the relationship forged with the Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust in the creation of a rock art-themed stamp. For more information, contact Amanda Symon at email@example.com.