The Matariki ki Waikato Festival is in its tenth year of celebration and The Meteor theatre in Hamilton is proud to partner with them to present a stellar line-up of Matariki events from June 19 to July 11.

A cluster of arts events and genres are scheduled to be lighting up The Meteor space to celebrate the Māori New Year.

"We are overjoyed to mahi tahi with Matariki ki Waikato this year and with the awesome line-up of events taking place in our space during this special time in the maramataka," says theatre manager Deborah Nudds.

"We are lucky with the quality of local and touring events that have come together under the kaupapa of Matariki in our programme."

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Kicking off Matariki at The Meteor will be the installation and opening of He Muri Aroha – An exhibition by Atawhai Edwards in celebration of Matariki ki Waikato on June 19.

Showcasing a series of photos, the exhibition acknowledges the start of the new dawn and a time to gather with whaanau and friends and celebrate what has been and what is to come.

The exhibition will be on display in The Nancy Caiger Gallery until July 27.

Following the exhibition launch comes four days of back to back Matariki events.

On June 20 The Meteor will present special Matariki Literary Salon- Stanza 16 with support from Browsers Bookshop.

A panel discussion event, audiences are invited to come along and enjoy an evening of stimulating conversation with local literary talents.

Hosted by guest MC Dr Nicola Daly, panellists include; Dr Alice Te Punga Somerville – scholar, poet, and irredentist, Benny Marama – writer, actor, and director, and Venetia Sherson and Denise Irvine –authors of Stand By Me: The Story of Te Whakaruruhau Waikato Women's Refuge.

Writer, actor, and director Benny Marama will be part of a panel discussion involving local literary talents. Photo / Supplied
Writer, actor, and director Benny Marama will be part of a panel discussion involving local literary talents. Photo / Supplied

On June 21, long standing Creative Waikato event Whiti: Concert + Open Mic Night will be on from 6:30pm.

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Whiti will showcase local and homegrown performers with programmed musical performances interweaved with an open mic to allow locals to let their talents shine.

Moving into the blackbox and onto the stage, Māori Theatre Makers Taki Rua presents Cellfish on June 22 at 2pm and 7pm.

A funny, insightful, and gripping new work, Cellfish takes us behind the walls of a New Zealand prison and into the minds of its residents as they take on Shakespeare classes with a high-school drama teacher.

Following Cellfish is the newest and hottest Māori showband on the entertainment scene, The Māori Sidesteps.

Theatreview described the show as a
Theatreview described the show as a "full-throated presentation of songs and skits, all cut through with a rich vein of satire." Photo / Supplied

At The Meteor for one night only on June 23 the Sidesteps will relive the glory days of the Howard Morrison Quartet and Prince Tui Teka with a fresh and comedic take on some of those old familiar party tunes.

Capping off the Meteor Matariki celebrations comes a night amongst the stars with Ihirangaranga (vibrations), where the movement within sound mirrors the movements within the stars.

On July 11 local musicians Horomona Horo and Jeremy Mayall, spoken word artist Michael Moore, and visual artist Regan Balzer will collaborate in real-time to create a truly unique experience that draws upon cultural concepts exploring Matariki through a multi-artform experience.

For full details on all of The Meteor's Matariki events may be found here and the full Matariki ki Waikato schedule is here.