Time to celebrate Maori New Year

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A crowd is entertained by a fiery performance in central Hastings, as people will be at this year's Matariki celebration with a one-off night market.
A crowd is entertained by a fiery performance in central Hastings, as people will be at this year's Matariki celebration with a one-off night market.

With art, food, performances, and fire, Matariki will be celebrated throughout Hastings this week.

To mark the start of the Maori New Year, Hastings Community Arts Centre is holding a visual celebration of Kahungunu culture, featuring a vibrant exhibition of works, interactive activities and performance, organised by Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.

Since 2000, the exhibition has become a regular event on the Matariki calendar. Curator of the 2016 exhibition Michelle Mataira said the event was a great way to get people engaged in some of the traditions associated with Matariki.

"It's a celebration of visual and performing culture, and the sharing of stories and knowledge," she said.

On Thursday, Hastings CBD will come alive with fiery displays, music and food trucks at a one-off winter Hastings City Night Market.

Hastings City Business Association manager Susan McDade said crowds would be wowed with a performance by Highly Flammable from Wellington, while five-piece rock show Generator would have marketgoers "dancing all night".

The Hastings Young Enterprise Scheme teams will have their results on show, and the Imagination Playground and a Lego-building competition will keep children entertained.

Ms McDade said the market would be an attraction for the whole family to enjoy with their community while wrapped up warm.

To end the week, a unique event to celebrate Matariki and achievements at the Mangarau Garden and Community Space has been planned.

Sausage sizzles, food stalls and games for children will be at the former Anderson Park School site, which has been transformed with the help of volunteers and community funding. The garden committee said they hoped local residents would be prompted to start their own vegetable plots.

- Celebrate the Maori New Year at Hastings Community Arts Centre's Iwi Toi Kahungunu exhibition (June 7-18); at Hastings City Night Market at 5pm on Thursday; and at Mangarau Garden and Community Space, Anderson Park, Havelock North, on Sunday at 11.30am.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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