Matariki Puanga

The celebration of Matariki Puanga, the Māori New Year, dates back over 700 years. Celebrate with spectacular free, whānau-friendly events.

Call for food vendor registrations

Food truck applications for Matariki Ahi Kā (27-30 June) are open. Applications close 5pm, Tuesday 30 April.

A crowd of onlookers watching an audiovisual display projected on the exterior walls of Te Papa during a past Matariki event.
Nō Rua, nō Mango, nō runga i te rangi (photography by Storybox)

About Matariki Puanga

Nau mai, haere mai. The rising of Puanga (also known as the star Rigel in Orion) and the Matariki star cluster (Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters) mark the Māori New Year and is a time to reflect on our loved ones who have passed and to prepare for the New Year, as we enter the colder months.

Puanga and Matariki is a time to get together, to restore faith and hope for the future, to celebrate whanaungatanga (kinship), to be with others, to share stories and kai, and plan to work towards a sustainable future.

Puanga can only be seen by a few iwi – those who are in parts of the Far North, Taranaki, Whanganui, Wellington, the Hutt Valley, and parts of the South Island. Puanga is the star acknowledged by our mana whenua iwi Te Āti Awa Taranaki Whānui, while Ngāti Toa acknowledges the Matariki cluster.

In Wellington, we can see both Puanga and Matariki. Learn about the Matariki Puanga tradition in our region.

Aotearoa New Zealand has celebrated a Matariki public holiday since 2022.

Matariki events 2024

Pou Ahi fire pillar by David Hakaraia.

Matariki Ahi Kā

Āhea | When 6pm–9pm, Thursday 27 June - Sunday 30 June 2024
Ki hea | Where Wellington Waterfront | View on Google Maps, Te Papa | View on Google Maps
Te utu | Cost Free

We invite you to celebrate the Māori New Year in a uniquely Wellington way.

Honour our culture and history, with a big, bold, immersive Wellington Waterfront walk-through journey including fire, projections, performances, and a special ceremony each night honouring those who have passed away. Share kai with friends and whānau each evening at the Odlins Plaza kai court, while listening to performers on the Aroha stage.

Visit this page in June for programme information.

Mana Moana water screen projection by Storybox.

Mana Moana Pōneke

Āhea | When 6pm–9pm, 15-16 June, 22-23 June, 27-30 June
Ki hea | Where Whairepo Lagoon | View on Google Maps
Te utu | Cost Free

In the lead-up to Ahi Kā and during the long weekend, enjoy a series of indigenous short films showcasing stories of our ocean, projected on a water screen. Watch as millions of water droplets fall and catch the light, creating the illusion of images appearing from the darkness and floating on the water.

Mana Moana Pōneke is a collaboration between Māori and Pasifika musicians, artists, writers, and choreographers.


Food vendor registrations open

We are open for mobile food vendor/truck registrations for our Matariki Ahi Kā event, which is running from Thursday 27 June to Sunday 30 June.

The deadline for food vendor applications is 5pm, Tuesday 30 April 2024. We'll advise applicants if their application has been successful by 21 May. Please apply by completing the online application form below.

Event details – Matariki Ahi Kā

At the centre of our event site, in Odlins Plaza, we will be setting up a ‘Kai Court’ with tables and seats, dedicated lighting, and ambient entertainment. Food vendor numbers are limited to a maximum of 14 and all food vendors will be expected to be available for all 4 nights.

The Matariki Ahi Kā event programme will include fire installations, projections, and live entertainment (please note there is no fireworks night).

Event: Matariki Ahi Kā
Āhea | When 
Thursday 27 June – Sunday 30 June 2024, 6pm - 9pm
Ki hea | Where  Odlins Plaza (view on Google Maps)

Times for food vendors:

  • Thursday 27 June, 3pm - 4pm arrival and set up onsite, open from 5pm - 9pm
  • Friday 28 June (public holiday), optional opening 12noon – 5pm; open 5pm - 9pm
  • Saturday 29 June, open 4pm - 9pm
  • Sunday 30 June, open 4pm - 9pm, pack down and exit 9pm - 10.30pm

Note: vendors who have a regular Harbourside Market spot can leave Odlins Plaza after the event on Saturday night and return after 2pm on Sunday. Please note, all times are current as of publication but may change at the Event Manager’s discretion.

Important information

Mobile food vendor fee: $400 plus GST.

Compulsory compostable packaging

In keeping with the kaupapa of Matariki, we are looking to keep the waste produced by this event as low as possible. All food vendors must use approved compostable packaging. Our waste minimisation team will be in touch with each food vendor to assist with finding compostable options that match their needs.


All vendors will be provided with power (there can be no individual generators used onsite). All food trucks and caravans at this event must have a current electrical Warrant of Fitness and all electrical cables and appliances must have a current test tag.

Mobile food vendor application form

If you’re interested in being a part of this event, please complete the online food vendor application form.

Food vendor application form

See the photos below for an overview of our 2023 Matariki Ahi Kā event.