Murihiku events capture essence of Matariki

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Tuurama Trust cultural activator Jay Coote interacts with one of the instalations in the Matariki Experience display at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill.

AS Aotearoa gears up to commemorate its first Matariki public holiday on Friday, the Invercargill community is already celebrating the date.

The main court at ILT Stadium Southland — which usually hosts Southland Sharks and Southern Steel games — has been transformed into an art installation, Matariki Experience.

There, artwork from Southland school pupils was displayed, together with pieces by artist Connor Chamberlain with soundtracks of birds and under a sky of stars.

Tuurama Trust cultural activator Jay Coote said the idea was to create a space where time and space transcended by being immersed in the lights, sounds and storyline of Matariki.

‘‘It is an educational look at what Matariki really is that highlights the whakapapa of
Matariki, and why Maori celebrate it.

‘‘It is a time to reflect on the past year, celebrate the present, and plan for the year ahead.’’

Matariki is the Maori name for the cluster of stars, also known as Pleiades, which rises in June and signals the Maori New Year.

The exhibit will be in place until 5pm today.

Other Southland events celebrating Matariki:

Thursday, June 23:

  • Rakiura/Stewart Island shared kai
    Halfmoon Bay School pupils on Rakiura/Stewart Island will prepare food and host their families and community for a shared kai. Using locally sourced vegetables as part of a garden-to-fork project, the pupils will make soup in the morning before serving it up in the afternoon alongside a kapa haka performance and other activities.
  • Te Anau After Dark Author Talk with Annette Lees
    Matariki engagement programme begins with an author talk from Annette Lees on her latest book, After Dark: Walking into the Nights of Aotearoa, at  Te Anau Library, 7.30pm.  Call 03 249 7379 to register a place.
  • Te Anau Matariki 2022 Fiordland Multimedia Art Exhibition
    Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust & Fiordland Arts Society are co-hosting a Matariki-themed art exhibition featuring local artists at the Fiordland Arts Hub, 11am-3pm, until July 4. Free entry.
  • Riverton Lantern Walk
    Riverton Childcare pupils will be sharing their lantern creations.
  • Matariki o Awarua events at Te Rau Aroha Marae, Bluff
    Whanau-friendly event including kai, kapahaka, korowai, purakau (stories), whakairo (weaving).
    4pm: gates open; 4.30pm: opening karakia; 7pm, Matariki Story; 10pm, gates close.

Friday, June 24:

  • Riverton Matariki Breakfast
    Aparima College. Join high school pupils and staff for a catch-up over a cup of tea and some kai, 8.30am-10am.
  • Matariki o Awarua,  Te Rau Aroha Marae, Bluff
    Weaving/carving, wharenui open, Toi Maori exhibits, kai stalls & market, marae trail tours, 2pm-10pm.
  • Murihiku Matariki Festival Queens Park, Invercargill
    Light show, giant projections, kai, community artwork, fire and light dancers, and much more, 5.30pm-10pm.
  • Feast Matariki, Te Rau Aroha Marae, Bluff
    Tickets are sold out to this five-course dinner honouring Matariki & showcasing local food and flavours. Hosted by Te Rau Aroha Marae, Ruapuke Uncut, Hayz At The Anchorage, chef Ethan Flack, 6pm.
  • Te Anau Matariki Kai and Night-time Nature Walk
    A collaboration with the Department of Conservation, Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, and the Fiordland Community House, this event is focused on sharing kai, reflecting on the year past and the year ahead, and walking on the Kepler Track to discover the forest world after dark. 6pm-8.30pm. Event fully booked.
  • Te Anau Matariki 2022 Fiordland Multimedia Art Exhibition
    Fiordland Arts Hub, Te Anau, 11am-3pm, until July 4. Free entry.

Saturday, June 25:

  • Matariki o Awarua,  Te Rau Aroha Marae, Bluff
    Weaving/carving, wharenui open, Toi Maori exhibits, kai stalls & market, marae trail tours, 2pm-10pm.
  • Murihiku Matariki Festival Queens Park, Invercargill
    Light show, giant projections, kai, community artwork, fire and light dancers, and much more, 5.30pm-10pm.
  • Oyster Roister Costume Ball, Bluff
    A night of fire and light and fun where steampunk pirates, lords and ladies, and Aquaman rub shoulders with the Ancient Mariner and mermaids, Eagle Hotel, from 7pm.
  • Te Anau Matariki 2022 Fiordland Multimedia Art Exhibition
    Fiordland Arts Hub, Te Anau, 11am-3pm, until July 4. Free entry.
  • Riverton Art Exhibition
    Local artists display their creations during the weekend, RSA Riverton Aparima, 3pm-7pm, free entry.
  • Riverton Matariki Market
    ​Range of local stall holders, RSA Riverton Aparima, 3pm-7pm, free entry.

Sunday, July 26:

  • Matariki o Awarua,  Te Rau Aroha Marae, Bluff
    Weaving/carving, wharenui open, Toi Maori exhibits, kai stalls & market, marae trail tours, 6.30pm: Guest speaker, astrophysicist Brian Boyle, who won the Gruber Cosmology Prize for the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, leading to the idea of an expansion force, dubbed dark energy. Gates open 4pm, Matariki story 8pm, gates close 10pm.
  • Murihiku Matariki Festival Queens Park, Invercargill
    Light show, giant projections, kai, community artwork, fire and light dancers, and much more, 5.30pm-10pm.
  • Te Anau Matariki 2022 Fiordland Multimedia Art Exhibition
    Fiordland Arts Hub, Te Anau, 11am-3pm, until July 4. Free entry.
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