One stop shop for Matariki celebrations

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Matariki celebrations last year.  Photo/File
Matariki celebrations last year. Photo/File

Rotorua Library has brought together all the Matariki events in Rotorua next month into one easily sourced free booklet making it easy for people to plan ahead.

Featuring Te Reo storytelling, performances, craft workshops, and many other events the booklet created by Rotorua Lakes Council's Matariki committee offers fun and educational Matariki events for the whole whanau.

Rotorua Library's Mātanga Māori Haki Tahana said there is something in there for everyone.

"We know lots of schools/kura and community groups in Rotorua hold Matariki events each year and this booklet was a way to support and promote celebrations going on around the city. Matariki is a great time for whanau to come together, commemorate and learn."

"We wanted to find a way to let the community know just how special Matariki and its message is here in Rotorua. This booklet definitely does that," said Mr Tahana.

"Hopefully more and more community groups recognise the booklet as a good place to promote their events. Council would love to continue this in the future."

Matariki, the traditional Maori New Year and usually the mark of the start of winter, is the name for a cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades that are visible for a few months in the middle of the year. It has traditionally been a time for whanau to gather and reflect on the past and to remember their ancestors and family members who have passed before them.

As well as remembering the past it is also a time to look forward and plan for the year ahead.

People portfolio lead councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said she was looking forward to heading along to some of the events herself.

"In the past few years Matariki celebrations have really taken off, individuals and groups are looking for new ways to plan and promote their events so having this booklet available is great."

"There really is a good range of activities and events to attend. I encourage Rotorua locals and visitors to see what's on, go along to hear the stories of Matariki and enjoy learning together as a community," she said.

This year Matariki is due to be visible from Monday June 6 but you will need to be up early as the stars can only be seen just before dawn. You can learn how to find the Matariki stars at a free Matariki talk by Maori astronomy expert Dr Rangi Matamua.

The event hosted by Rotorua Museum will be at Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre on June 2 at 6.30pm.

The booklet will be distributed over the next two days in the Rotorua Weekender but copies can also be picked up at Rotorua Lakes Council, the Rotorua Library , or on the Rotorua Lakes Council website.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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