Park to glow for Matariki

Celebrating Matariki (from left) Zanthie Parkinson-Knight (9), Tuurama Trust board member Gemma Baldock, Matariki Festival 2020 co-ordinator Sharne Parkinson and Lexi Parkinson-Knight (7) holding manu tuku tuku (kites) which were made for this year's festival.

MATARIKI will be celebrated over four evenings in Queens Park next week.

Matariki Festival 2020 marama Haakari Nui co-ordinator Sharne Parkinson said this year’s theme of tiramarama (glimmering light) would have something for all ages.

The festival was “to celebrate coming into the Maori new year”, she said.

Matariki was the time to reconnect with whaanau and friends. Knowing where your tiipuna ancestors came from may help people learn more about themselves and what made them unique.

Being held from Thursday, July 16, to Sunday, July 19, there would be an opening ceremony on Thursday at 5.45pm, with the other days opening about 5pm to 10pm each evening.

“As soon as it gets dark, the lights will go on, usually about 5.30pm.

“Every night there will be a light show, entertainment including singers, local artists, kapa haka groups and Brazilian dancing, as well as fire poi, stick spinning and dragon sticks.”

Various artists, including glass fusion artist Phil Newbury and mixed media artist John Wishart would also have artwork on display in the park.

Adding to the free, family evening of entertainment, there would also be food to buy.

Although there had been various workshops in preparation for the festival, with at least eight schools and 16 early childhood learning centres and kindergartens taking part, there were still two more workshops which people could take part in, Ms Parkinson said.

An Ahi Rakau fire stick workshop would be held at the Invercargill City Libraries and Archives on Dee St tomorrow from 4pm-5pm. As it was being held in the library, participants could learn how to spin a fire stick without fire, instead using lights and sparkle instead. The free, family event was safe for all ages and experience and everyone was welcome to attend.

The other event was a manu tukutuku (kite) making event to be held in Riverton on Saturday, where participants could learn how to make contemporary and traditional manu tukutuku, Mrs Parkinson said. “It would suit all ages.”

For more information, go to the Matariki Festival Facebook page @MURIHIKUMATARIKI.

  • Matariki Festival 2020, Tiramarama Haakari Nui, Thursday, July 16, 5.45pm-10pm, Friday, July 17, to Sunday, July 19, 5pm-10pm. Free entry.

buy shoesBoots