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Matariki's stars to shine at Waikato District events

Te Aroha Waitohi with 4-y-o son Isaac (from Huntly) at Ngaruawahia library

The annual Waikato Matariki festival gets underway on June 6, with a variety of events and activities marking the Maaori New Year across the region, including some district-specific events created and/or supported by the Waikato District Council.

The Council is supporting or providing local events and activities which have been created to demonstrate the traditions of Matariki in the Waikato district. The Council is also encouraging locals to take part in some of the regional activities which are part of the festival. “The Waikato District Council supports our communities as they showcase our district and celebrate their place in the Waikato under the traditional Maaori framework of Matariki,” says Waikato District Mayor, Allan Sanson. 

“Our district is home to Waikato-Tainui and the wider Maaori community and it’s rich in Maaori history, culture and tradition,” says Mayor Sanson. “As well as being informative and entertaining, we hope that our district Matariki activities and events will help to educate, inform and raise awareness of the practices and traditions of Matariki locally and regionally.”

Key events for the district featuring Council’s involvement and/or support include the Matariki menu challenge, ‘Tino Reka te Kai Challenge’; a ‘suitcase’ art exhibition displayed at Council venues; and local artist Wayne Ross’ art installation in the Council’s Ngaruawahia office reception foyer. “Our district libraries are also offering a competition inviting people to write a short story, poem or design a book cover for prizes, which will be presented to the winners in our Council chambers,” says Mayor Sanson.

Waikato district’s Matariki-focused events and activities this year reflect one or more of the overall festival’s five key themes:

  • Arts (mahi toi).
  • Performance (Whakangahau).
  • Food (mahi kai).
  • The environment (taio).
  • Youth (rangitaahi).

Underlying each of the district’s local events and activities are the Matariki festival’s core values:

  • Guardianship (kaitiakitanga).
  • Celebrating communities (whakawhanaunatanga).
  • Sharing our world with others (manaakitanga).
  • Collaboration (mahitahi).

Photo: Four-year-old Isaac Waitohi and his Mum Te Aroha, both from Huntly, enjoy reading one of the Matariki books on special display at the Ngaruawahia library.

For more information please contact:

Crystal Beavis
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633