Aligned with the Matariki star cluster rising, Matariki Festival 2019 starts on 22 June and runs until 14 July in Tamaki Makaurau.

The festival begins each year just before the break of dawn as Matariki (Pleiades) rises above the horizon.

Presented by Te Kaunihera o Tamaki Makaurau, in partnership with mana whenua, the festival celebrates the Maori new year and new beginnings.

Historically Maori navigators were guided to Aotearoa by the stars, including Matariki (Pleiades), with crews using masterful wayfinding and voyaging techniques passed down through generations.

Those themes will be woven throughout the festival.

Aucklanders and visitors, especially families with children, are being encouraged to celebrate the richness of the city’s Maori identity by coming together for Matariki Festival, the leading Matariki celebration in Aotearoa.

The festival programme, to be unveiled on 5 June, will present more than 100 events and programmes where people can experience te ao Maori through stories, entertainment, discussions, performance and art:

Matariki Dawn Karakia: 22 June, 6am-10am, Pukekawa, Auckland Domain: Herald the Maori new year alongside iwi manaaki (host iwi) atMatariki Dawn Karakia.

Matariki on the Move: Korero, 10 July, 7pm – 10pm at SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland CBD: Hear stories of the Matariki star cluster, learn the art of navigation and discover the importance of the Maori lunar calendar withMatariki on the Move: Korero.

Matariki on the Move: Tirotiro Whetu, 24, 27, 28 June; 1, 4, 5, 8, 13 July, 6pm – 9pm; 14 July, 5.30am – 9am: Waitemata Harbour sailings depart from Orakei Marina: Board a waka and view the stars by night with Matariki on the Move: Tirotiro Whetu.

Manu Aute Kite Day, 29 June, from 10am; 10am – 4pm, Takaparawhau at Orakei; 11am – 4pm, Pukewiwi in Puketapapa (Mt Roskill); 12pm – 4pm, Manu Tukutuku in Manurewa: See skies filled with kites during Manu Aute Kite Day at three locations across Auckland.

Te Taumata Kapa Haka, 6 July, 10am – 4pm at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre: Witness exhilarating live performances at Te Taumata Kapa Haka.

Te Korakora on Federal, 12 July, 5pm – 10pm in Federal Street, Auckland CBD: Dance the night away under the Matariki stars while enjoying a stellar line-up of musical talent and entertainment at Te Korakora on Federal.

Vector Lights for Matariki Festival, 27 – 30 June, 5 – 7 and 12 – 14 July at 6pm – midnight (the show runs for 8 minutes and plays every half hour): Enjoy a stunning light show presenting the stories of Tamaki Makaurau, from the perspective of iwi manaaki at Vector Lights on Auckland Harbour Bridge. 

With 23 days of events across Tamaki Makaurau this Matariki season, Festival Director Ataahua Papa says there is something for everyone.

“Matariki Festival activities and events across Tamaki Makaurau remind us of our history and origins while giving us all an opportunity to come together in celebration.”

“This special time of year enables us to enrich the cultural fabric of Tamaki Makaurau and bring to life the city we love,” says Papa.