Our Wellington

News | 2 July 2021

Friday Five: Ways to celebrate Matariki this month

Matariki, or Pūanga for some, is a time of remembrance, celebration and renewal.
This year we are celebrating the Māori New Year in Pōneke with live and digital events, star hunts, art exhibitions, workshops and more! Here’s how you can get involved.

A photograph of a man and a woman singing and playing the guitar on a stage illuminated with orange light and framed by two light boxes with Māori designs on them.

1. Ignite your flame at Ahi Kā 

Wrap up warm and head down to the Wellington Waterfront on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 July for Ahi Kā, two magical nights of ahi (fire), art installations, waiata (songs), kai, storytelling and live performances from some of Aotearoa’s finest Māori artists. 

Gather around an open fire and toast marshmallows, decorate a lantern, check out the incredible audio visual artworks, and soak in the Matariki atmosphere. 

You can find the full event programme on our website.

A photograph taken at night from on top of a hill with 9 lights beaming into the dark sky while the street lights of the city glitter gold in the foreground.

2. The sky is the limit with Tūrama 

A beautiful light sculpture, Tūrama (illuminate), will shine into the night sky as part of Matariki ki Pōneke festival from Friday 2 to Wednesday 7 July. 

Made from nine woven beams of gently moving light, Tūrama symbolises a connection to the stars - representing the Matariki themes of reflection, remembrance and renewal.  

You can catch Turama at Ahi Kā on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 July before it travels into the suburbs. Check out our website for all the dates and locations

A photograph of the grassy park at the top of Mount Victoria with a large white star painted onto the lawn.

3. Search for the stars with our Matariki app 

We’ve added an exciting new game to our Matariki app! As well as being about to light your own “bonfires” and find the Matariki constellation, you can now join the Haha Whetū Star Search.

We will be painting ten stars on the grass around the Wellington region. Each star has an icon nearby, and when it’s scanned a star appears on your device and you collect a token. There are 10 stars to find, and with every token you collect you’ll go in the draw to win a prize.

From 2 – 10 July we will be posting hints about the locations on our social media channels and then sharing them on our website

Download the app for free from the iTunes Apple Store or Google Play and get scanning!  

4. Gain knowledge with Mana Tangata 

Last year when the world was stuck at home thanks to COVID-19, we invited a bunch of local iwi and Māori from around the motu to share their knowledge in a series of Zoom hui during the Matariki festival. 

The series includes indepth kōrero about art, waiata, film making, business resilience and more.

You can rewatch the full playlist on our Facebook page or Youtube channel.

A photograph of bright pink and orange fireworks bursting in the night sky above the Wellington harbour and moored boats.

5. End your Matariki with a bang! 

Conveniently coinciding with the first week of the school holidays, the Matariki Fireworks display will light up the night sky at 6.30pm on Saturday 10 July. 

Come down early to grab a spot and something to eat from one of the many food trucks, and enjoy a winter's night with the whānau. 

For more information about the Matariki ki Pōneke festival, visit our website

Watch out each Friday for a fun list of five great activities to do, places to explore, or things to discover in our awesome city.