A spectacular light show on the Auckland Harbour Bridge to celebrate Matariki begins tonight.

The light show will run every hour from 6pm to midnight tonight, then every Friday and Saturday at the same times until July 21.

The show tells the story of Maki, the ancestor of Waitakere iwi Te Kawerau a Maki, and features Matariki stars, pohutakawa, giant kauri, waka, and a taniwha.

Matariki, also known as the Maori New Year, was officially on June 15 and is being celebrated with a festival from June 30 to July 22.

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It opened yesterday with a dawn karakia and mass haka at Arataki Visitor Centre in Titirangi.
Hundreds of people had been taught the specially-composed haka, written by Tyler Rakataura Taua-Gordon, in the weeks before the festival.

Other landmarks including the Auckland Museum and the Sky Tower will also be lit up in Matariki colours for the festival, which includes a range of dance, arts, and family events and workshops.

For more details, see www.matarikifestival.org.nz