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Source: Auckland Council

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will be the iwi manaaki (host iwi) for this year’s Matariki Festival, celebrating the Māori new year and new beginnings.

On 3 June, the mantle of iwi manaaki for Matariki Festival passed from Waikato-Tainui to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei at the Matariki Festival Launch ceremony, held at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum

“It’s fantastic to have Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei as iwi manaaki for this this year’s Matariki Festival,” says Te Koromatua o Tāmaki Makaurau Phil Goff.

“Matariki is a time for friends and whānau to come together to reflect on the past and celebrate new beginnings. Auckland Council has a strong and productive working relationship with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the festival is an opportunity for Aucklanders to experience and enjoy the stories and traditions of Matariki through the eyes of the host iwi.

“I know this partnership will result in a great event and I encourage all Aucklanders to take part in our city’s premier winter festival.”

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Chair, Marama Royal says,

“We are proud to be the iwi manaaki for this year’s Matariki Festival. Matariki, steeped in historical and cultural tradition is a unique kaupapa to te iwi Māori, and Aotearoa. The role of iwi manaaki during the festival is a wonderful opportunity for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and we look forward to sharing with Tāmaki Makaurau our ahi kā narrative and the deep connection we have with our rohe.

Ko Matariki pou rarama i te pō, Ko Tumutumuwhenua pou whakairo i te awatea”

This year’s festival promises to be a great lead-in for the official recognition of Matariki in 2022, when it becomes a public holiday. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has also accepted the role of iwi manaaki for 2022.

Matariki Festival 2021 begins on Saturday 19 June and runs through until Sunday 11 July. The festival opens with the Matariki Dawn Karakia, from 6am-10am on 19 June, taking place at Takaparawhau / Bastion Point. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei welcome one and all to Takaparawhau to herald the Māori new year. Other pou events for this year’s festival include Manu Aute Kite Day, Te Taumata Kapahaka and Te Korakora on Takutai.

Vector Lights for Matariki Festival on Auckland Harbour Bridge will shine bright with a new iwi light show. Lighting up every weekend during the festival, the show features a story of the host iwi, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and their migration to Tāmaki Makaurau.

Auckland Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee says that hosting Matariki Festival with Ngāti Whātau Ōrākei is great for the city.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Aucklanders to come out and make the most of our beautiful region and to learn more of the kaupapa around Matariki ahead of it becoming a national holiday next year.”

Each year Matariki Festival is brought to the city by Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Council, in partnership with mana whenua. Previous iwi to have hosted the festival include, Waikato-Tainui, Te Kawerau a Maki, Ngāti Manuhiri and Ngāti Paoa.

To see the full programme of events for this year’s festival, and to learn about this year’s iwi manaaki, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, head to