News | 23 June 2017
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Wellington welcomes a week of celebrations for Matariki and the DHL New Zealand Lions Series

Wellingtonians and visitors will be treated to a jam-packed programme of events to celebrate the annual Māori festival and welcome the DHL New Zealand Lions Series, as Wellington sees the busiest weekend in the city’s history.

A man with yellow and black paint on his face, and wearing a Hurricanes shirt.

The winter celebrations will kick off with a bang this weekend when Wellington welcomes the first Matariki fireworks display on Saturday 24 June at 6:30pm, taking place at Te Papa promenade on the waterfront.

There will also be a host of events taking place throughout the city to celebrate the important Māori festival, from an interactive exhibition at Toi Pōneke, to the WAITUHI public art project at Frank Kitts Parks, and the Matariki Festival at Te Papa.

From Tuesday 27 June, fans will begin to flock to the city for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series and the capital will be ready to shine with a series of vibrant performances throughout the central business district, celebrating local talent and offering passers by a taster of Wellington’s vibrant arts and culture.

To coincide with Matariki and the DHL New Zealand Lions Series celebrations, ReCut will be back to wow Wellington. This will be the second in a series of free, dynamic, outdoor arts events hosted by Wellington City Council to showcase the best of New Zealand’s vibrant capital of culture.

On Friday 30 June, ReCut will take over Civic Square with jaw-dropping performances from Wellington’s finest emerging and established creative talent, alongside popular international acts. Expect to see inspiring projections, fire displays and world dance champions take to the stage.

As Arts portfolio leader, Mayor Justin Lester commented:

“Wellington's arts and culture is part of what we all love about this city and this winter in no exception. The city will come alive in the next few days with an amazing energy and we’re looking forward to providing a series of free events to give locals and visitors a proper Welly welcome.

“It’s key to focus on our annual Māori festival and I’m hoping this year’s celebrations will be a taster for what’s to come as I believe we should be leading the country in making Matariki a major winter festival and a public event as big as any on our annual calendar.

“ReCut is the perfect event to tie both Matariki and the DHL New Zealand Lions Series together, offering a spectacular display for all the family to enjoy and showcasing the best of Wellington’s vibrant arts and culture.”

  • Matariki Fireworks, Saturday 24 June, 6:30pm - Bring your friends and family down to the Te Papa promenade at the waterfront to see Wellington light up the night sky with a stunning fireworks display over the harbour to celebrate the start of the Māori New Year. If weather results in cancelling the event on Saturday 24 June, it will go ahead on Sunday 25 June.
  • City Celebrations, Tuesday 27 June – Saturday 1 July – To welcome the DHL New Zealand Lions Series, Wellington will be playing host to a number of inspiring performances throughout the heart of the city, from local bands to dazzling dance groups.
  • ReCut, Friday 30 June, 5:33pm - Locals and visitors will get a taster of some of the finest acts in the capital, and from around the world, showcasing Wellington’s vibrant arts and culture. Keep an eye out for more information and get involved in the action using #WellyReCut or visit ReCut.NZ. If weather results in cancelling the event on Friday 30 June, it will go ahead on Saturday 1 July.