Writ­ers gather to celebrate Maori New Year

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By LAT­IFA DAUD

Award-win­ning poet Whaitiri Mikaere will be one of many per­form­ing at the Cen­tral City Li­brary to celebrate Matariki.

Ta­maki Writ­ers Hon­our Matariki is one of four li­brary events be­ing put on for the Maori New Year cel­e­bra­tion.

This event will also in­clude an open-mic ses­sion and a trib­ute to Hone Tuwhare with print and au­dio dis­plays.

Matariki sym­bol­ises new ideas and begin­nings.

Mikaere says events such as these are im­por­tant be­cause it al­lows Maori to share their view of Matariki.

‘‘I feel it is cul­tur­ally re­spon­si­ble to ed­u­cate public aware­ness of the sig­nif­i­cance and mean­ing of Matariki by hav­ing Maori events con­ducted in an au­then­tic Maori way.

‘‘Matariki needs to be free of in­sti­tu­tion­alised racism and be re­spected with the orig­i­nal for­mats and pro­to­cols ad­hered to by way of Kau­papa Maori driven tikanga (cus­tom) that en­dorses knowl­edge of Maori history and con­tem­po­rary Maori is­sues.’’

Mikaere has been writ­ing po­etry all her life and won this year’s Po­etry Idol as well as be­ing Matariki Po­etry Win­ner in 2010 and 2012. She has a mas­ters in cre­ative writ­ing from the Univer­sity of Auck­land.

Other Matariki events across Auck­land in­clude kapa haka (cul­tural per­for­mances), toi Maori (Maori art), korero pu­rakau (in­dige­nous sto­ry­telling), Liv­ing Book ses­sions with Maori MPs, ac­tiv­i­ties for bud­ding astronomers, kite mak­ing, flax weav­ing and tra­di­tional medicine work­shops.

‘‘The free events at li­braries are a great op­por­tu­nity for Auck­lan­ders from all eth­nic back­grounds to im­merse them­selves in Maori cul­ture and ac­tiv­i­ties,’’ com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment and safety com­mit­tee chair­woman coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey says.

Ta­maki Writ­ers Hon­our Matariki will be held at Cen­tral City Li­brary on June 27 from 9.15am till 3.30pm.

See matarik­ifest ival.org.nz for the full pro­gramme.

Photo: SUPPLIED / GRANT API­ATA

Sipa Dei­doe, Wil­liam Rak­ena and Todd Wil­liams.

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