Ngati Kahungunu's Dannevirke Matariki Whānau Festival will once again be a spectacular mix of market stalls, top entertainers, awesome food and amazing fireworks.

The event is being held on Friday at the Dannevirke A & P Showgrounds.

The slight change of time and venue is to counter the winter weather experienced last year.

The festival runs from 3pm until 6pm, earlier than last year when it grew colder as the evening wore on.


Activities will also mostly be housed inside the Produce Hall which will have a stage and stalls.

There will be continuous entertainment with local kapahaka being followed by top vocal artists brought back due to popular request. The include Beau Monga, Nofo Lameko, Dj Haza and Caleb Haapu from Sons of Zion.

A number of stalls will sell crafts, among them Eddie Grain from Hastings offering his tie-dyed hoodies and women's leggings, with other vendors offering everything from cushions to harakeke creations.

The popular flashing lights will be back and lots of other novelties.

Bearing in mind that the festival takes place at tea time there is a huge range of foods starting with the hangi, Polynesian cuisine, fried bread from Thomas Scott's Kais On, steak sammies, hot dogs, chips, home-made baking and donuts.

Just before the fireworks the Maumahara ceremony, acknowledging those who have passed away, will take place with lanterns for kua mate and a waka for them to float on being a special new feature.

Then it's time for the fireworks when once again the sky will light up with a spectacle rivalling any city show.

Locals are reminded to care for their animals from 5.30pm until it finishes.


The Matariki Whānau Festival is free. It's organised and sponsored by Ngāti Kahungunu for everyone in Dannevirke and district.