Kapiti celebrates Matariki

Matariki will be celebrated at several events across the Kapiti Coast

Unite with whanau, friends and community and brighten up winter this Matariki.

Matariki rises on 2 July this year and heralds a month of live events, light shows, exhibitions, workshops and activities across the district.

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan says the Māori new year is a significant time for all New Zealanders and is a time to come together to reflect on the past and look to the future.

“The rising of the star cluster Matariki (also known as Pleiades) in mid-winter signals the beginning of the Māori new year. It has always been a time of celebration and reflection – bringing together whānau, friends and neighbours during the cold winter months.

“This year Council is hosting and supporting a programme of events and there’s something for everyone, in every community.

“Matariki is a time of kotahitanga – through unity, tangata whenua and communities have strength. Council’s role is to work together to ensure our district’s heritage and culture flourishes, so we’re pleased to support iwi and the community in planning these celebrations,” says Mayor Gurunathan.

The anchor event, Matariki Lighting the Beacons Festival, is produced by Māorilands Charitable Trust and proudly supported by Council through the Major Events Fund.

It is bookended by two colourful opening and losing weekends. Maclean Park in Paraparaumu Beach is set to glow with light artworks, music and local food on the weekend of July 2-3, including a Matariki Kids Bike Light Parade. And the Festival ends spectacularly with another family friendly weekend of light artworks, food and performances at Ōtaki Beach Surf Club Park on 23-24 July.

In between, Lighting the Beacons Festival sees many more free music, arts, theatre and community events for Kāpiti whānau to enjoy, throughout July.

And if you’re looking for something to do indoors, there is a full calendar of events and activities at our Kāpiti libraries including art displays, taonga puoro, storytelling, craft workshops and gardening activities.

To find Matariki events near you visit www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/matariki/