Suburban skies light up for Matariki

22 July 2020

Nine woven beams of light will shine above Wellington this week, representing reflection, remembrance and renewal as part of Matariki ki Pōneke, Wellington City Council’s annual Māori New Year celebrations.

Matariki's Tūrama light sculpture lighting up the dark sky above the Wellington waterfront at Taranaki wharf.
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The light sculpture, named Tūrama (which means illuminate in te reo Māori), will be visible in southern and eastern skies tonight (Wednesday), and western and eastern skies tomorrow (Thursday).

Tūrama will arrive at the Ahi Kā Live site in Circa Plaza on Friday 24 July and remain there over the weekend, when food, fire displays, and live performances will also feature as part of the Matariki festival.

The sculpture was designed and created by MJF Lighting.

MJF Lighting Managing Director Michael Farrand says after months of cancelled projects, it was great to be back working on events in Aotearoa’s awesome capital city.

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“We are delighted to have partnered with our friends in the Wellington City Council events team to deliver a multi-faceted 10 day Matariki experience.

MJF Lighting staff Jordan O’Neil (left) and David Stewart in front of the Turama light sculpture they designed for Matariki.

“Our team has loved being able to create incredible light sculptures on the waterfront and in suburban skies, and reflect the spirit of the Matariki stars for the whole city to enjoy.”

Council’s Creative Producer for Events, Delia Shanly says the woven pattern of Tūrama also signifies Wellington’s strength as a community.

“Matariki ki Pōneke is one of the country’s first large civic events since lockdown, with many event industry businesses severely impacted by Covid-19. It’s wonderful to provide work opportunities to pivotal local event companies, including MJF Lighting, to help them get back up and running.

MJF Lighting's light sculpture, named Tūrama, shining over Wellington suburbs.

"Tūrama is part of a largely re-imagined and expanded Ahi Kā Matariki celebration, designed to be adaptable across various Covid-19 alert levels. We can deliver this artwork and take it out to the suburbs for people to enjoy from their homes or neighbourhoods."

Delia says Tūrama looks great from a distance, however, for a close-up experience, she encourages whānau and friends to head to the waterfront for Ahi Kā Live this Friday and Saturday.

Keep your eyes peeled for Tūrama in your area and you could win a double pass to Shapeshifter or a family pass to Wellington Zoo. To enter, simply snap a photo of the light sculpture and share it in the comments section of our pinned Facebook post.

The nine giant light bulbs that make up the Tūrama light sculpture, which was designed by MJF Lighting for the Wellington Matariki festival.