The aim of WAITUHI is to take the festivities and kaupapa of Matariki to a wider audience beyond the traditional arts spaces of the galleries, museums and theatres, to enliven and activate public space with new artwork that acknowledges Māori culture and heritage in the city.
WAITUHI Flags by Shannon Te Ao in collaboration with students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna.
This year’s WAITUHI project for the 8-flag poles on the border of Frank Kitts Park near Whairepo Lagoon have been designed by year 7 and 8 tauira from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna (in Seatoun) with guidance from local artist, Shannon Te Ao.
The students have created artworks that respond to Matariki – to the stars and their meaning and role. Hiwa e te Rangi - the youngest of the Matariki star’s role is to shine (to pīata) and to provide a light and motivation to step into the unknown. Hiwa-i-te-rangi represents our aspirations for a prosperous season ahead. She is the star to wish upon, to send dreams and desires to in the hope that they will be realised. This flag design appears as a bright star with a rainbow trail - shooting forth into the future, and has been raised on the largest flag pole - the Oriel - closest to the waters edge.
This will be the eighth year of WAITUHI. Every year, leading up to Matariki, Council commissions a Māori artist to design work that acknowledges and celebrates the cultural heritage of this site at the waterfront.
This year’s artwork, all clearly drawn by young creatives, brings a vibrant aesthetic to this area. Making visible work by young people in the centre of our city acknowledges the importance of rangatahi now, and for the future of our city.