Saturday, July 13, 2024

Celebrating Matariki at Waiaroha

As part of this year’s celebrations in Heretaunga Hastings, people are invited to Waiaroha to take part in the activities taking place over two nights – June 25 and 26.

Organiser, Te Rangi Huata said Waiaroha was the perfect venue to mark the rising of the star cluster Matariki Pleiades.

The water features at Waiaroha made it ideal for the events, including the floating of illuminated lanterns containing personal messages remembering loved ones or setting goals for the future, he said.

As well as a Hikoi of Remembrance with the lit-up lanterns, there will be storytelling in the
Waiaroha whare, and an animated light projection will be played on one of the large water
reservoir tanks, telling the story of the atua (gods and spirits) and how they control the clouds, rain, streams, rivers, ocean and currents.

“It’s such a stunning place – many people don’t know what’s here, but when they visit and take a good look around that’s when the magic happens.”

People can write their messages on the lanterns provided or bring their own and the hikoi will depart to Ngā Pou o Heretaunga at Civic Square.

“We will walk in an anti-clockwise direction from Waiaroha to ngā pou, symbolically going back in time over the past year.

“There we will conduct a ceremony, including acknowledging the four winds, and then we will journey forward in time to the present as we return to Waiaroha and put the lanterns in the water,” Mr Huata said.

At Waiaroha, people will also be able to enjoy live acoustic music, performances by Kahurangi Māori Dance Company, kids’ activities, and there will be food trucks with kai for people to purchase.

Both nights of the Waiaroha event are free, apart from the kai trucks, and run until 9pm.

To find out more about all the Matariki events in Te Matau-a-Māui click here.

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