Cel­e­brate Matariki

Maori food, art, dance, sto­ries by the lake

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By CHE BAKER

The Lake Wanaka wa­ter­front will be­come the back­drop for Maori sto­ry­telling and tra­di­tions this Satur­day as Matariki – the Maori New Year – is cel­e­brated.

Matariki is the name of a clus­ter of stars which rises in mid-win­ter. For many Maori it marks the start of a new year.

Kahu Youth youth worker Angie Grif­fiths said that as part of the cel­e­bra­tions there would be a kapa haka dis­play by Wanaka Pri­mary School stu­dents as well as work­shops on in­ter­ac­tive Maori art, hu­la­hoop­ing and poi, and a sto­ry­telling cor­ner.

A hangi would be cooked and avail­able for a koha (do­na­tion).

About 550 people were fed at last year’s cel­e­bra­tion and it was ex­pected the same num­ber would take part this year.

Af­ter the hangi two bon­fires would be lit on the lake­front where tra­di­tion Maori sto­ries would be told.

‘‘To fin­ish up we have a mas­sive fire­works dis­play,’’ Grif­fiths said.

The event was a great cel­e­bra­tion for lo­cals and vis­i­tors to learn about the Maori cul­ture and tra­di­tional method of cook­ing, she said.

Funds from hangi con­tri­bu­tions go to­wards next year’s cel­e­bra­tions.

What: Matariki Cel­e­bra­tions When: Satur­day June 28, 2.30pm to 6pm. Where: Wanaka Di­nosaur Park and Lake Wanaka wa­ter­front. Cost: Free en­try. Koha (do­na­tion) for hangi. Kai time: More than 500 people are ex­pected to en­joy a hangi at the Lake Wanaka wa­ter­front to mark Matariki on the weekend.

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