Writers gather to celebrate Maori New Year
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.
Sipa Deidoe, William Rakena and Todd Williams.