Waka Arrival to Welcome in Matariki

4 June 2013

This year’s opening ceremony to welcome in Matariki will be a special one. Wellington’s ceremonial waka Te Rerenga Kōtare and Te Hononga will greet Te Matau a Māui (ocean-voyaging canoe) as it arrives from Napier.

Voyaging canoe - Te Matau a Maui.

Matariki is a special event on Wellington’s calendar


Sailed by crew from Ngāti Kahungunu, it will be welcomed into Wellington Harbour on Saturday 8 June by mana whenua Taranaki Whānui.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the waka’s voyage into Wellington for Matariki - with its links to navigating using the stars - is a significant and appropriate opening event.

“This year’s celebrations have a particular focus on waka, navigation and voyaging. People who own boats or water craft are encouraged to join this special occasion and help escort the ceremonial waka from Seaview to Queens Wharf. The public can also help us celebrate by gathering on Wellington waterfront at 10am.”

After an official pōwhiri for invited guests at Te Raukura - te wharewaka o Pōneke, there will be kapa haka entertainment from 11.30am.

Presentations from the crew of Te Matua a Māui and public tours of the waka will be open from 2pm on Saturday and during the week until its departure on Sunday 16 June.

Matariki celebrations run from the beginning of June through until the end of July. There’ll be over 50 events taking place during that time.

One of the highlights that’s sure to brighten up the middle of winter will be the WGTN LUX lighting festival, 21 - 24 June. This free citywide exhibition will feature numerous local and international artists and designers.

For more information on events during Matariki, download the Matariki app from Google Play or itunes or see:

Events - Matariki 

Events - Te Matau a Māui ki Whanganui a Tara