MĀTAHI brings kōrero (conversation) of waka (canoe) and kete (baskets) to the window of Smith & Caughey’s store in Queen Street, reminding us of the water that flows beneath our feet as we traverse this historic street.

The Waihorotiu valley was a waterway visited by many kinds of waka bringing people and food stores. It has always been a place renowned for the extension of manaakitanga (hospitality), for welcoming and extending hospitality to visitors, to guests and to ourselves.

Waka play an important part in the stories of Matariki, Tūrama, Waihorotiu and Tāmaki Makaurau whānui ( communities). For Matariki, Te Waka o Rangi is the vessel that glides across the upper realms and collects the wairua of those who have passed in the previous year, carrying them up to Matariki where they become stars – te hunga kua whetūrangitia.

MĀTAHI also displays nine kete representing the mātauranga (knowledge) of our ancestors which is passed down through generations. The kete form the pattern of the Matariki cluster in our skies.

Supported by Auckland Council and the city centre targeted rate, in collaboration with Smith & Caughey’s.

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Last updated: 03 July 2023