Local youth have been sharing their talents and shining in the Matariki Star Search auditions.

Matariki Star Search 2017 co-organiser and judge Mercia-Dawn Yates of Nga Pumanawa e Waru said the first two rounds of auditions had been exciting.

The first audition night was held on Tuesday at the Rotorua Library and was primarily dancers, with the youngest performer just 8.

At the Rotorua Night Market audition on Thursday there was a talent pool of 16, and it was primarily singing and Nga mahi a Rehia o te Ao (global performing arts).


"Our talent braved the cold conditions and stuck it out to the bitter end."

There had been 60 registrations this year with 30 auditions still to do.

There will be two more rounds of auditions - this Tuesday and Thursday - both at the Rotorua Library.

Tuesday night's audition will be closed but Thursday's will be open to the public.

She encouraged the community and participants' families to come along to the public Matariki Star Search events because Rotorua had so much talent and it was important they were supported.

Ms Yates said when whanau were engaged and involved in their children's lives, they believed the child would be successful in achieving both at school and home.

The Matariki Star Search 2017 Finale will be held on July 19 at the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre.

Entry is free but as seats are limited tickets will be required.


They are available from Nga Pumanawa e Waru and the Rotorua Library.

Judges so far have been Mercia-Dawn Yates, Janaye Biddle Kite, Pere Paul, Neihana Mackey-Harrison and Russell Harrison. Turanga Merito will be a guest judge at the finale.

Meanwhile, Rotorua Lakes Council has produced a free, easily accessible booklet which features Matariki events from around the region.

"The booklet includes everything you need to know about what's happening for Matariki around Rotorua, including both council and community events" said Matariki co-ordinator Jo Doherty.

"There's a lot to do, see and learn this Matariki and the great news is that most events are free."

Other events in this year's Matariki line-up include the All Stars Parade and a talk by Maori astronomer, Dr Rangi Matamua (Ngai Tuhoe).

Coinciding with this year's Matariki celebrations is the June 17 game in Rotorua between the Maori All Blacks and British and Irish Lions.

The same day, Rotorua will attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest haka.

To get the full list of Matariki events, download the booklet from the council's website, or pick up a copy from the council, iSite, the Matariki stall at the Night Market on June 15 or the Rotorua Library.