News | 24 June 2020
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The sky’s the limit for Matariki in the capital

Matariki is a time for reflection and remembrance, looking towards the future, and coming together – so this year’s events will embrace those themes through engaging story telling, exciting light displays and projections, and whanāu friendly activities.

Image of how the Ahi Kā projection on Te Papa will look

Matariki ki Pōneke 2020 will incorporate a large scale projected story on Te Papa, with kai and entertainment on the waterfront, plus arts, workshops, and displays around the Capital to celebrate the festival.

Now more than ever, it is a time to celebrate a new beginning, and keep the home fires burning as represented by Ahi Kā – a celebration of Matariki, the Māori New Year, says Councillor Jill Day.

“This year we are exploring Matariki with a new lens. While we’ll still be showcasing indigenous art, culture and kai, encouraging kōrero and engaging with communities, and celebrating with whānau and friends – we’ll also be combining immersive online experiences with live events.

“This festival is important for Wellingtonians to come together, have a shared experience, and celebrate as we look back on how united we have been in the face of adversity – as a community, a city, and a country.”

Matariki runs from 13-26 July, and a team of hundreds will bring unique, world class and hi tech Ahi Kā events, exploration and experiences to the city live and online during the festival, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“The events sector got severely hit by the Covid-19 lockdown, so it’s important to support our local suppliers, contractors and performers for future event resilience.

“This festival alone will provide work for over 250 people from local companies and organisations, showcasing their skills, creativity and talents, and giving them some security during a difficult time.”

Spotlights will shine out from the suburbs with patterns weaving together the communities – these will move around the Capital during the festival, ending up in the city for the finale.

There will also be an app designed by local tech company Maggle – with Ahi Kā braziers to illuminate space, and a function to find the Matariki stars in the sky and the stories behind them all.

“This year’s digital activity means we are not limited to time or space. It’s accessible to anyone, from anywhere, so everyone can get to experience Wellington’s creativity and culture from their armchair,” adds the Mayor.

Ahi Kā – Fri 17- Sun 26 July

Large scale projection show on Te Papa Tongarewa (17, 18, 19 and 23, 24, 25, 26 July)

Matariki narrative, Mana Moana showcase on a big screen in Odlins Plaza

Live performances featuring local traditional and contemporary artists, fire and kai in Odlins Plaza (Fri 17, Sat 18, Fri 24, Sat 25 July)

Mana Moana Digital Ocean

Digital open access arts project from 18 leading Māori and Pasifika artists

To be streamed online and available beyond Matariki

Mana Tangata Matariki Korero from 13 July

An educational and informative free Zoom series featuring local iwi and Māori from around the Motu sharing knowledge and kaupapa Māori

Live streamed via Council’s YouTube/Facebook channels

Tūrama – 20-23 July

Pillars of light representing reflection, remembrance and renewal will move through suburban Wellington over the course of four nights, arriving at the Ahi Kā site in Circa Plaza on Friday 24 July

This year’s Sky Show has been postponed with date yet to be confirmed, as planning and preparation has been impacted by uncertainty about Covid-19 restrictions.

Presented by Wellington City Council, and supported by the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund.