The Auckland Harbour Bridge is continuing to shine a light on the cultural beauty of Aotearoa.
A brilliant 10-minute light and sound show Vector Lights on Waitangi Weekend tells the story of Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island).
The solar energy-powered show, lighting up the bridge with 90,000 LED lights and 200 floodlights, began last night. It is being shown on the hour from 9pm-midnight each night through to Waitangi Day, Tuesday.
"Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngāti Rehua, Vector and Auckland Council have partnered to acknowledge our national day by telling an ancient cultural story through this remarkable new innovation," Ngāti Manuhiri Chairperson Nicola MacDonald said.
"Waitangi Day, the Treaty of Waitangi and our mana whenua iwi all have strong connections to the principle of kaitiaki – protection or guardianship of our natural environment. The underlying purpose and message Vector Lights will tell this week is built upon this."
"We are delighted to partner with Vector Lights to acknowledge our national day by celebrating our stories and heritage."
The kōrero created by Ngāti Manuhiri was turned into a light and sound show by internationally-acclaimed lighting designers Mandylights. MacDonald also sang the waiata featured in the soundtrack.
The show will be live streamed online at vector.co.nz/lights – which will also have a dedicated audio stream synced to the light show.
The bridge will come alive again for Auckland Pride, with a show running hourly from 9pm-midnight on February 11-18, and Auckland's Lantern Festival from March 1-4.
"Each Vector Lights show will be different from the one before it," a Vector Lights spokesperson said.
"Aucklanders can look forward to a range of bespoke lighting designs created collaboratively to celebrate a diverse range of events and occasions. Some events will include an audio component, others will be lighting only. All will be powered by smart energy."
The shows - part of a 10-year energy efficiency partnership between power company Vector and Auckland Council – kicked off in spectacular style on the Saturday of Auckland Anniversary Weekend.
A six-minute specially-composed sequence – which referenced Tama-Nui te Ra (the sun), Hikohiko (electrical energy), and Hei te Ao Marama (the future world of light) – celebrated the city's richly diverse cultures.
Tens of thousands lined Auckland's waterfront to watch the show on its opening night, a Vector Lights spokesperson said. Around 2000 turned up to Northcote's Little Shoal Bay Reserve for the "switch on" launch event attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Auckland mayor Phil Goff. Vector Lights trended #1 in New Zealand on twitter.
"The launch on Anniversary Weekend was a resounding success, and we were so happy to see thousands of people out and about, as well as online, enjoying this historic occasion," said Auckland Council general manager of community facilities Rob Sheridan.
"The opening night creative design set the bar, the challenge now is for the design of future Vector Lights shows to raise the bar even higher," a Vector spokesperson said.
"While the light show itself went off without a hitch, we did receive feedback that the volume on the audio supplied on our website was too low. There were a number of factors contributing to this, and we have been working to address them for future shows.
"We are also working to improve the quality of the lenses in the web cameras to provide a better image for future live streamed shows - all new light shows will be live streamed and this is an experience we will continue to evolve and improve."
In between the Vector Lights shows, the harbour bridge would "be lit up with subtle architectural lighting", a Vector Lights spokesperson said.
"Now that all the Vector Lights lighting technology is installed, the Harbour Bridge will never be the same.
"Before, you could only see the full structure of the bridge in daylight - now it will be visible at night as well."