A vibrant programme of events are set to mark the annual celebration of Puanga Matariki in Horowhenua.
Local iwi celebrate Puanga Matariki, the Māori New Year, when the Matariki stars rise in the eastern skies of New Zealand. It's a time of renewal and celebration that begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster (the Pleiades or Seven Sisters). It is a time to celebrate new life, to remember those who have passed and to plan for the future.
This year’s Puanga Matariki events will run from 17 June to 29 June, and has been organised by Horowhenua District Council in partnership with Muaūpoko Tribal Authority.
The events will be held at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō in Levin, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton and Shannon Library and Service Centre.
An exhibition of contemporary weaving, Te Marama Puta – Emerging Light, will be held throughout Matariki to display the works of nine weavers from Te Kokiri Development Consultancy. During the exhibition, the weavers will offer interactive activities for the public.
Programme activities are free and include a karakia, exhibitions, workshops, cultural performances and a concert.
There will be plenty of events for families with stories, crafts, movies, the Starlab planetarium and a virtual reality experience of the stars and planets.
The award-winning Modern Māori Quartet - a suave contemporary Māori showband will be performing on Friday 28 June. With hearty voices in epic harmony, they share Māori traditions, aroha and tell Kiwi stories through waiata with tongue-in-cheek Māori humour, charm and charisma.
A community kai and cultural performance on Saturday 29 June will bring families together to enjoy good food and entertainment with a community spirit.