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Stars align for Matariki celebrations in Christchurch

Thursday, May 23, 2019   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: maori, event, Community, culture, Matariki

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 21st May 2019

Christchurch City Libraries are marking Matariki by hosting creative, family-friendly events to brighten up mid-winter.

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. When the cluster rises on the horizon in mid-winter it heralds the start of a new year.

The stars represent a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past year, remember those who have passed away, prepare for the seasons ahead, and mark the New Year.

The libraries’ celebration is focused on three of the nine stars of Matariki, Te Kāhui Kumanu a Matariki, or the guardian stars. It takes a fresh look at Māori oral traditions, practices and customs associated with the festival.

Events and activities being held include:

  • storytimes (Wā Kōrero) sessions with Matariki stories, rhymes and songs at local library branches.
  • a community art project (MatarikiToi) making star crafts with sessions from 3.30pm until 4.30pm at various libraries.
  • a Matariki Family Movie (Matariki Kiriata) at Tūranga’s TSB Space on Sunday 23rd June from 1pm to 3pm.
  • Matariki Family Days (Matariki Wānaka) at the New Brighton Library on Saturday 15th June and TSB Space at Tūranga on Sunday 30th June. 

Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries Carolyn Robertson says Matariki is becoming a bigger celebration each year as more people understand the festival’s significance and get involved.

“Our libraries are hosting some enjoyable, creative activities that will bring our community together so we really encourage people to come along.”

Throughout the school term Libraries Learning Centres will be holding Matariki Connect which include fun activities for school children, focusing on the key concepts of Te Iwa o Matariki and the guardian stars of Matariki. Call 03 941 5140 to find out more.

A Matariki event is being held at Rehua Marae on Saturday 29th June from 10am until 3pm with stalls, waiata and workshops.

The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora is also marking Matariki with workshops, a mākete (market), speakers, performances and family activities from 25th June to 7th July 2019.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch