Matariki Festival starts on June 20th and we can't wait to get out and celebrate around Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).

Matariki season is a time to be with family and friends, reflect on the past, remember those who are not with us and prepare for the year ahead. It marks the beginning of a new year for Māori culture when the Matariki star cluster (Pleiades constellation) rises. 

This year, the Matariki festival will be held from June 20 with the winter solstice and will come to a close on 15 July as the Matariki star cluster rises above the horizon in the pre-dawn sky. In light of COVID-19 the 2020 festival will be slightly smaller than previous years, but the Auckland Council has been working hard to re-size this year's festival to include a range of smaller scale community events and even online.

Matariki Festival Director Ataahua Papa says: “Matariki is like pressing the refresh button each year. After the challenges of past months, we think Aucklanders are ready for a new outlook.”

Papa says Matariki Festival 2020 will enable Aucklanders to experience the sights, lights, sounds and learnings of te ao Māori (worldview) in different ways.

Te Taumata Kapa Haka pops up

Britomart will host Te Taumata Kapa Haka in 2020, featuring an exhibition of lightboxes and live performances. Beginning 22 June, Takutai Square will showcase lightboxes featuring vibrant images of kapa haka action from local groups, some of whom will represent Tāmaki Makaurau at the next Te Matatini national kapa haka competition. From 29 June, exhilarating pop-up kapa haka performances will also take place.

Lunchtime crowds are invited to purchase and enjoy an earth-oven cooked hāngi lunch then sit back and enjoy some of Auckland's best kapa haka groups live in Takutai Square.

Te Ara Matariki

Freyberg Steps

See the names of the stars in the Matariki cluster up close and personal when you visit Freyberg Square during Matariki Festival. Matariki, the main star, and her children can be seen as they climb te poutama ki te rangi (stairway to the heavens), or in this case, the steps in the square. Learn the te reo Māori names of seven Matariki stars, then take some time to sit and remember those who have passed, plan for the coming year, or to organise your visit to another festival event near you. 

City lights up in a Matariki spectacle

Called Light Up Tāmaki, this spectacle will light up the night sky from 24 June.
The orange colour of a Matariki sunrise will light the SkyTower and Queen Street Lights in the Heart of the City.

Vector Lights will shine in celebration of Matariki Festival on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, bringing a "striking new narative of Matariki" to the Heart of the City. View the lights from 6pm to midnight from 24th to 28th June, 4th to 5th July and 10th to 12th July.

Check out full festival details here.

Upcoming events at Matariki Festival 2020

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Last updated: 12 June 2019