Matariki Festival launches with new line-up

The Matariki Festival is gearing up once more, beginning with the unveiling of this year's line-up.

This year's programme will feature more than 100 events across Auckland, celebrating Maori culture, art, entertainment, and food.

Charles and Janine Williams are some of the first artists to unveil their work for the festival with their rain art installation Hauhake, at the bottom of Queen St near the Britomart train station. Their artwork can only be seen when wet.

Charles and Janine Williams' artwork can only be seen when wet.
Charles and Janine Williams' artwork can only be seen when wet.

Festival director Anahera Higgins says the line-up integrates traditional and modern Maori elements.

"This year's festival is a fantastic balance of fun, educational and family-orientated activities. Along with our partnership with mana whenua, I believe the festival can only get stronger," she said.

The month-long festival marks Te Tau Hou (Maori New Year) and the rise of the Matariki constellation. It is the first time the festival will be hosted by Auckland Council in partnership with the 19 mana whenua iwi of Tamaki Makaurau.

"Matariki is a time to reflect and a time to look forward. And Auckland Council is looking forward to its partnership with mana whenua and the exciting new initiatives it will bring," said Alf Filipaina, chair of Auckland Council's Arts and Culture Committee.

"Our Maori identity gives us our point of difference in the world. It's a festival that is unique to Aotearoa and it is a great time to celebrate everything Maori with friends and whanau."

What: Matariki Festival
When: June 18-July 18
Info: matarikifestival.org.nz

- nzherald.co.nz

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