First time celebrator of Matariki? We've got you covered for everything you need to see and do during Matariki ki te Manawa in the city centre this June and July. 

What is Matariki? 

Taking place mid-winter every year, Matariki signals the Māori New Year, and begins with the rising of the star cluster of the same name. It appears on slightly different dates each year, as it is dependent on Maramataka (the Māori Lunar calendar) and its phases. The appearance of the Matariki cluster brings the old lunar year to an end, marking the beginning of a new one. Traditionally, Tohunga (experts) would look to the Matariki star cluster to forsee the success of the coming season's crop harvest. Bright, clear stars promised a warm and successful season. Hazy stars, however, warned of cold weather and poor crops.

Traditionally - and still today - festivities are conducted to celebrate Matariki, including live music and cultural performances, storytelling, the sharing of kai (food) and more. Matariki festivities showcase and highlight the tangata whenua (local people) view of the world. 

The Matariki cluster will reappear in the sky this year from June 21. Before sunrise, look to the north-east horizon and search for Tautoru - Orion - ''the pot'' constellation. Trace a line northwards from the three stars of the pot, look for a faint sparkle of tiny dots, about the same width as the pot is long. This is the Matariki star cluster. 

Get involved 

This year, over 25 incredible events, installations and activations will take place in the city centre as part of Matariki ki te Manawa (Matariki at the heart). From Silo Park to the Viaduct, Commercial Bay, Britomart and beyond, there's something for everyone. Check out these must-know highlights below to get inspired, and planning your Matariki celebrations! 

Check out the light displays and art installations 

From the Viaduct to Te Komititanga, Queen Street and beyond, there's incredible art and light installations on display during Matariki ki te Manawa, check out our article below for the best route to take to view them all. 

Celebrate with family 

Check out a market or art exhibiton

Head to the waterfront for these activations

Last updated: 20 July 2022