Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Matariki celebrations begin

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Matariki has begun with a bang, with events across the Bay held to mark the occasion.

The first week of the 15th annual Matariki Festival, which celebrates the Maori New Year, has already seen exhibitions, lecture series, navigated tours around Mauao and astronomy presentations for kids.

Traditional navigator Jack Thatcher has been teaching early risers about Mauao with a hikoi up the mountain at 5.40am every morning this week.

Maungatapu Primary students Reihana Timms, 10, Piripi Gardiner, 10, and Elijah Muraahi, 10, get competitive at the Matariki celebrations.
Maungatapu Primary students Reihana Timms, 10, Piripi Gardiner, 10, and Elijah Muraahi, 10, get competitive at the Matariki celebrations.

Local Tauranga children spent the week creating Maori kites, known as manu tukutuku, or manu aute.

They heard stories about the kites, which were flown by Maori for recreation and as a means of communication.

Read more: Tauranga surf lifesaver fined over alleged salad toss

Children also had the opportunity to learn about worm farming, where they developed composting skills.

Still to come is Te Reo Wainene o Tua (The Sweet Story of Yester-year), a te reo Maori storytelling kaupapa that brings together a collective of high profile te reo Maori advocates and parents. The session begins at 9.30am today at the Matariki Marquee, Adams Ave.

Other events will be held throughout the rest of the month and through to mid-July.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepou student, Rangiurei Renton, 5, gets into the spirit.
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepou student, Rangiurei Renton, 5, gets into the spirit.

Matariki:

* Matariki Tauranga Moana Festival runs until July 22.

* For more information on Matariki events, go to: www.mytauranga.co.nz/matariki.aspx

- Bay of Plenty Times

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