Discover the meaning and magic of Matariki during a three-week festival of events all along the waterfront.
Taking place during winter every year, Matariki signals the Māori New Year and begins with the rising of the star cluster of the same name. This year, Auckland Heart of the City has pulled together a series of more than 25 fantastic events to celebrate the season, including art installations, a light show, market days, live music, kapa haka performances, workshops and food events. Here's our pick of the events you won't want to miss at Britomart and nearby.
On at Britomart:
- Pakiata Matariki
Celebrate Matariki and learn all about the Matariki story with Pakiata Matariki in Te Komititanga, presented by Heart of the City, Auckland Council and Commercial Bay. The large scale projected light show will illuminate the entire Chief Post Office (CPO) in downtown Auckland, spanning 55 metres wide and 32 metres high. Each evening it will take audiences on a journey to the stars, telling the story of the origins of Matariki and connecting with this year's iwi manaaki, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Come together in recognition of the first national holiday to celebrate the Māori New Year.
Te Komititanga (between Commercial Bay and the CPO), running every 15 minutes from 6pm-9pm from 24 June – 16 July.
- Wharenui Harikoa: House of Joy
Loop by hand-crafted loop, artists Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole are crocheting Wharenui Harikoa (House of Joy), a full-size meeting house. To celebrate Matariki, we are featuring a large-scale outdoor exhibition of photographs by Russ Flatt of this work in progress, including some of the wharenui’s foundational pou, which represent the stars of the Matariki constellation. Read our interview with Lissy and Rudi here.
Britomart Pavilions, Te Ara Tahuhu, from now till 16 July
- Wharenui Harikoa: Weaving with Lissy and Rudi
Artists Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole take over a store on Britomart's Te Ara Tahuhu Walking Street to talk about their Wharenui Harikoa project and offer free crochet workshops for beginners or more experienced people. Reserve your place at the beginners workshop here, or at the intermediate workshop here.
30 Te Ara Tahuhu (opposite Ted Baker in the Atrium on Takutai), Wed 13 - Sat 16 July
- Wharenui Harikoa: What Matariki Means to Us, with Lissy and Rudi
A free talk by artists Lissy and Rudi about why they’re making Wharenui Hariko and what it’s taught them about Matariki and themselves. This very special event is free but registration here is essential.
30 Te Ara Tahuhu (opposite Ted Baker in the Atrium on Takutai), 5.30pm, Wed 13 July
- Te Pā Harakeke
Celebrate the Matariki public holiday with all-day musical and kapa haka performances, Māori food trucks, and a vibrant market of Māori arts and crafts. See the full event info here.
Fri 24 June, 10am-4pm
- Hikohiko to Uira
An photographic exhibition by Ngā Rangatahi Toa, the organisation that uses creative arts programmes to re-engage South Auckland youth with educational and vocational opportunities. The exhibition features photographs by Emily Raftery that detail the development of Ngā Rangatahi Toa’s haka, Hikohiko to Uira, in which the rangatahi liken themselves to lightning bolts that dance during storms, finding inspiration amongst chaos.
Atrium on Takutai from June 28
- Twin Cultivation
Twin Cultivation is a new work that brings together ceramic artist Cindy Huang 黄馨贤, designer Micheal McCabe, and creative producer Rosabel Tan. Presented as a miniature garden, this temporary installation invites members of the public to sign up for a ‘harvesting’ session. In each session, two strangers enter the garden together, and are invited to unearth a ceramic vegetable to gift to the other person to take home. This work builds on Cindy’s interest in the relationships that Chinese migrant communities can and could have as tangata tiriti, and seeks to create space for us to collectively consider the histories of the land, the many people we share this city with, and the possible futures we could create. Reserve your spot here.
Takutai Square, Mon 4 July – Fri 8 July, 8am-6pm; Sat 9 July – Sun 10 July, 10am-4pm
Other unmissable downtown events and installations:
Tūrama is an open invitation to all of Tāmaki Makaurau to revisit and re-imagine the Waihorotiu valley. You will be welcomed and farewelled by atua, dance on the sparkling waters of Te Waitematā and Wai o Horotiu, celebrate art works by icons of Māori art and design, meet the manu of this place, and come face to face with an 8 metre high representation of resident kaitiaki Horotiu. Start your Tūrama journey at the intersection of Queen and Shortland Streets with a uniquely designed and crafted waharoa denoting where the waters of Waitematā and Wai o Horotiu merged.
21 June – 16 July
- Te Korakora
A key highlight of the Matariki Festival 2022, featuring headline act Trinity Roots, along with highly-regarded Aotearoa musicians, AJA, Kings, Majic Paora, La Coco and DJ Grantis. Dance, sing and send your dreams and wishes to Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, the Matariki star of opportunity in this unique open-air venue of Silo Park.
Wynyard Quarter, 16 July, 5pm-10pm
- Te Tomokanga ki te Pō
Te Tomokanga ki te Pō – the gateway to the night by artist Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Haua, Ngāti Manu), a collaboration with Hawke House, Angus Muir, Fresh Concept & Eke Panuku. This incredible mahi toi is a glowing waharoa standing 26 feet tall. The waka on either side of the waharoa represent the harbour; the two internal pou represent male and female; and the two hands and the bottom are the tupuna, Tumutumuwhenua, reaching through the earth. The centre pou is Whatu (Whātua) Kai Marie, a tupuna wahine of Ngāti Whātua. The nine feathers of Te Kāhu Pōkere above represent Te Iwa o Matariki. Viewable anytime during the day or night, but best viewed at night or around dawn & sunset.
Silo Park, June 20 – July 7
- Matariki on the Waterfront
Matariki on the Waterfront returns to Silo Park once more, promising two days of experiences to invigorate the soul and warm the senses during the cold of winter. See the waterfront come alive with a range of Matariki activities including, live music, kapa haka, workshops, installations, kai and a place of connection, remembrance and renewal for all.
Silo Park, July 2 – 3
Check out the full list of Matariki Ki Te Manawa events and installations here.