This year's Matariki festival, and its underlying message of renewal, is more important than ever, says Mayor Andy Foster.
“This is going to be a significant event as we celebrate the first time New Zealand has had a public holiday commemorating it.
“The exciting programme is designed to raise awareness and education around Matariki, Te Ao Māori and Wellington’s unique stories and landscape with engaging and entertaining experiences – utilising some of the best and brightest talent from around the capital.”
Councillor Jill Day (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) says Matariki being recognised as a public holiday is another significant advance for equality in Aotearoa.
“We now have a Māori Ward in Pōneke, the Tākai Here partnership agreement between mana whenua groups and Council, we’ve recently adopted the Tūpiki Ora Māori Strategy, and now we have a recognised public holiday celebrating the Māori New Year.
“There is a lot to be proud of, but still a long way to go – in the meantime, let’s come together with tamariki, friends and whānau this Matariki to remember, reflect, connect, kōrero, enjoy kai, and embrace ahi kā, toi mahi and te ao Māori.”