Celebrate the Māori New Year this Sunday at the Matariki Kite Day, part of the Matariki Tauranga Moana Festival's line-up of events.

Bring your kite to the free fun day out for the whole whanau at Ferguson Park in Matua from 12pm to 4pm.

Māori Services specialist information librarian Bernie Johnson said the day was a much-loved feature of the Matariki calendar and reflected ancient Māori kite-flying traditions.

"Kites were traditionally seen as connectors between the heavens and the earth so the Matariki Kite Day is not only a spectacular visual feast that will delight the whole whanau, it's also a terrific way to celebrate our past," Ms Johnson said.


"By giving traditional Māori kite flying a modern twist, we're keeping this proud tradition alive and inspiring the next generation."

The event will be cancelled in the event of poor weather. Keep an eye on the Tauranga Moana Matariki Festival page for updates.

Our place, our stories - Matariki Tauranga Moana Festival 2016

Each year, the winter stars of Matariki signal the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Traditionally, the rise of Matariki was a sign to ensure food crops had been harvested and the storehouses would be well stocked for the coming New Year.

Matariki also brought communities together to share and to learn from each other. Nowadays Matariki has become a time of revitalisation and resurgence of te reo Māori and mātauranga Māori traditions.

The Matariki Tauranga Moana Festival is a seven-week programme that includes live performances, lectures, family events, dance and art, astronomy sessions, workshops and nature walks.

Visit www.mymatariki.co.nz for more information.