Purapurawhetū shine for Matariki at the Opera House

31 May 2016

Wellington City Council is bringing together a stellar line-up of seven award-winning and emerging Māori performers for one night of music and entertainment at the iconic Opera House on 17 June from 6pm to 8.30pm – for free!

Wellington singer, Iva Lamkum

Wellington singer Iva Lamkum

Purapurawhetū – Shining Stars features Ariana Tikao, Sharn Te Pou, Sonny Southon, Hongi Slicker, Mara TK, Iva Lamkum, The Maori Side Steps, Brannigan Kaa and MC Mere Boynton. Plus a massive Matariki visual projection by The Nomad showcasing some of Aotearoa’s leading contemporary artists. 

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who also chairs the Wellington Amenities Fund, says, “Wellington City Council is a proud supporter of our Māori culture and tangata whenua. I invite all Wellingtonians to join in Aotearoa’s Māori New Year, winter is the perfect time to wrap-up, get out, and join in the many festivities we have going on.”

After their debut performance on Waitangi Day in Wellington, the Maori Side Steps are building their repertoire of funny songs and playful skits to entertain the masses for Matariki. Cohen Holloway, Jamie McCaskill, Rob Mokaraka, Jerome Leota, and Errol Anderson bring you a combination of beautiful harmonies and laugh-out-loud jokes. 


Named one of the 13 top global divas by MTV Iggy (US), Iva Lamkum has enjoyed critical support here and abroad. Along the way she’s received nominations for the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll, the Vodafone NZ Music Awards, and chalked up considerable time on radio playlists across the country. Iva is currently working on her sophomore album, which she’ll be releasing later this year.

Acclaimed performer Ariana Tikao is a vocalist and composer of heartfelt music in te reo Māori and English. She draws on folk and pop styles with an emphasis on Māori chant. She is inspired by her ancestry and the dramatic South Island landscape she lives in.

Singer-songwriter Sonny Southon has sung with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Sir Bob Geldof, Duran Duran and Matt Bianco. Other acts hitting the Opera House stage are Wellington singer-songwriter and professional dancer Sharn Te Pou, along with Troy Kingi, Brannigan Kaa and golden-voiced, world-wandering citizen of Aotearoa, Mara TK.

Council Event Coordinator Suzanne Tamaki says, “this is the 8th annual Matrariki concert I’ve had the privilege to organise. It’s the perfect time to showcase Māori awesomeness, and get the whanau to come along and celebrate.”

The Māori New Year kicks off in June what better way to celebrate than with Purapurawhetū – Shining Stars, showcasing some of the best talent New Zealand has to offer – for free.