Matariki celebrations offer Māori weaving experience

Published on 13 June 2019

Matariki 2019

The opportunity to try your hand at Māori flax weaving and finger string games is part of a two-week programme of events to celebrate Puanga Matariki in Horowhenua.

Interactive weaving workshops form part of Te Marama Puta – Emerging Light, an exhibition of contemporary Māori weaving by students and tutors at Te Kokiri Development Consultancy. Four workshops will be held, from 10am to 12 noon on Wednesday 19 June, Friday 21 June, Wednesday 26 June and Friday 28 June.

Horowhenua District Council’s Civic & Community Events Coordinator, Melissa Steedman, said the exhibition is one of many events on offer during Puanga Matariki.

“There will be games, cooking, stories, music, movies, performances and more. It’s a celebration of the many aspects of Māori culture in our district that people of all ages and ethnicities can enjoy,” she said.

This year’s Puanga Matariki events will run from Monday 17 June to Saturday 29 June at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō in Levin, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton, and the Shannon Library.

Other highlights of the Puanga Matariki programme include a performance by the Modern Māori Quartet in the evening of Friday 28 June, a Starlab planetarium on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 June, and the opportunity to experience the constellations through virtual reality on Tuesday 18 and Tuesday 25 June.

There will also be plenty of events for families, including crafts workshops for kids, making fry bread, the movie Moana in Te Reo, and book readings by children’s author Kirsty Wadsworth. Families will also be able to experience a sand art performance, kapa haka and community kai from 5:30pm on the final day of the celebrations.

A special part of the celebrations will be a public karakia and blessing of Lake Horowhenua, to be held at first light on Thursday 27 June.

Tickets for the Modern Māori Quartet are $20 from any Council community centre or online through Eventbrite. Other events are free.