Taking place during winter every year, Matariki signals the Māori New Year and begins with the rising of the star cluster of the same name.
From 11 to 22 July, Matariki ki te Manawa will fill Te Pokapū Taone, our vibrant city centre with 20+ events and activations. From learning experiences and storytelling to lighting splendour, kōrero, music, art and more, there's plenty to see and do - check out some of the highlights below.
Find the full Matariki Festival programme, here.
Queen Street & Elliott Street
Tūrama | 11 July - 20 August, Queen Street | free
From Shortland Street to the Auckland Town Hall, prow this series of six larger-than-life illuminated sculptural forms that will bring light and wonder to the city centre. A waharoa (gateway) marks the place where the land once met the sea in Queen Street, manu (birds) fly overhead and a chorus of birdsong can be heard.
Waihorotiu is the ancestral river that once flowed through what is now the Queen Street valley. The river sustained and enabled the settlement of this area over the millennia, and the valley is literally thick with ngā tapuwae o ngā mana o te whenua (the footprints of local tribes), embedded into this space over time, testament to the richness of local resources and strategic importance of this location. Alongside these tūpuna (ancestors), this valley and its river were also the domain of Horotiu, a being of both physical and metaphysical dimensions. Horotiu is recognised variously by Mana Whenua as kaitiaki of this area, and also as taniwha (fabulous monster) within this, his domain; an enduring influence to remind us, and to challenge us.
Tūrama is a collaboration between talented artists Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Manu), Ataahua Papa (Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, Ngāti Mahuta) and Angus Muir Design.
Taurima | 12 July - 22 October, Elliott Street | free
Expected to become a Matariki Festival super-highlight, check out Elliott Street and discover Taurima where pātaka kai (food storehouse) symbolism will be suspended above the street in beautiful fluoro-neon art.
Taurima is a collaboration between Lissy Robinson-Cole (Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Hine), Rudi Robinson-Cole (Waikato, Ngaruahine, Ngāti Pāoa, Te Arawa), Ataahua Papa (Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, Ngāti Mahuta), and Angus Muir Design.
Horotiu | Thurs, Fri & Sat evenings from 13 July - 22 July, Queen Street | free
Don’t miss this newly created pop-up music series called Horotiu, remembering the iconic Waihorotiu stream flowing beneath the pavements. Māori and Pasifika artists will thrill midtown audiences with live music and waiata at scheduled times.
Mātahi | 11-22 July, Smith & Caughey's window, Queen Street | free
This new installation is a contemporary look at the star cluster for Matariki.
Te mātahi o te tau
Te kohinga whetū i te uma o Ranginui
E pīataata mai ana, whakaataata i te rangi
E tohu ana i te tau hou Māori e
Celebrate Matariki at SkyCity with kai, kōrero, and entertainment for the whole whānau.
SkyCity school holidays - Matariki ki Runga | 1 July - 16 July, Sky Tower | Sky Tower admission cost
Join SkyCity in the lead up to Matariki this July and get involved in a series of fun family-friendly activities and events. From clay crafts and glow in the dark face painting to interactive learning experiences and more, there's plenty to get involved in! See more and book your tickets, here.
Hosted across two award-winning restaurants, for one night only, this special evening is not one to miss. Celebrate the rising of the Matariki star clusters with some of Aotearoa's favourite chefs over a bespoke menu inspired by ingredients from the Matariki stars. Sid Sahrawat (Cassia) welcomes Al Brown (Depot) to the Cassia kitchen and Nic Watt (MASU) welcomes special guest Michael Meredith (Mr Morris) to the robata. Read more and book your spot, here.
What Matariki Means to Me | Outdoor panels on Te Ara Tahuhu and Galway Street and in the Artium on Takutai
A portrait series by photographer Mataara Stokes featuring students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae who also answer the question ‘What does Matariki mean to you?’
Matariki ki Takutai | Pop-up lunch time kapa haka | 13, 19 & 20 July, 12.45pm & 1.45pm | free
Head to Takutai Square on your lunch break to watch kapa haka performances, check out exhibitions and indulge in kai.
- Thursday, 13 July: Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi, Henderson
- Wednesday, 19 July: Te Uamairangi (combination of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kōtuku from Ranui and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Maungarongo from Mt Albert)
- Thursday, 20 July: James Cook High School, Manurewa
The Viaduct & Silo Park
Te Tomokanga ki te Pō installation | 6 July, Silo Park | free
Be sure to check out Te Tomokanga ki te Pō – the gateway to the night by artist Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Manu). This incredible mahi toi is a glowing waharoa standing 26 feet tall. The waka on either side of the waharoa represents the harbour; the two internal pou represent male and female; and the two hands and the bottom are the tupuna, Tumutumuwhenua, reaching through the earth.
Matariki on the Waterfront | 22 July, 12pm - 5.30pm | free
Matariki on the Waterfront returns to Silo Park this year, promising a range of experiences to invigorate the soul and warm the senses during the cold of winter. See Silo Park come alive with a range of workshops and games, as well as DJs, kai, and a place of connection, remembrance and renewal for all. Iwi manaaki Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, will be joining the celebrations as Ahi Kā, keepers of the fires of Tāmaki Makaurau.
IWA at Te Mata Topaki water installation | 7-23 July, Viaduct Harbour, Waitematā Plaza, 117 Customs | free
IWA, a new water installation off lookout structure Te Mata Topaki, conceived and curated by Tuhirangi Blair (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa) will be illuminated throughout Matariki with a special activation each night at 6pm and 8pm.
The light show (approx. five minutes long) comes alive using colour, lighting, sound and other special elements to create an immersive experience. The lookout structure features the mahi of Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Manu).
Aotea Arts Quarter
Be blown away by Marae in the Sky, a powerful immersive dance and music performance centred on the mother whetū (star) Matariki. Through the eyes of each creative, reimagined representation of true stories and Māori mythology merge seamlessly together to present world-class choreography, waiata and music in four breath-taking performances. See more, here.
Gather your friends and whānau and head to the Gallery's free event where you'll be able to purchase kai, te mākete (market), watch powerful performances and keep the tamariki busy making craft inspired by Matariki. See more, here.
Head to Hōro ā-Tāone o Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland Town Hall) for this free, family-friendly festival day out! Get amongst various art and cultural formats, including waiata, kapa haka, kiriata (movies), Māori gaming experts, indigenous craft and kai, Māori designers and Māori food trucks, and includes an acknowledgment to renowned writer Witi Ihimaera and a panel discussion with te ao Māori experts.
Celebrate Matariki with this inspiring night of musical fusion. Expect the unexpected as Kingi and the APO perform a wide-ranging setlist from Kingi’s eclectic catalogue. With lush orchestral arrangements by composer Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper, this will be an amazing night of creativity and collaboration.
Te Kapa Haka o Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi Marae | 15 July, Auckland Art Gallery | free
Join in witnessing Te Kapa Haka o Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi Marae highlight their rangatahi (youth) talent. Hoani Waititi are the current national champions of Ngā Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua o Aotearoa and hold the unbroken record of overall consecutive winner on the Polyfest Māori stage, from 1996 to 2001.
Ellen Melville Centre & Central City Library
Mahi Toi Hauora Hub | 5-22 July, Ellen Melville Centre | free
In the city and need some inspiration or a space to reset? Visit Mahi Toi Hauora Hub, a public space where ngā tāngata katoa (everyone) are welcome to drop in across Matariki and experience an environment of kaupapa Māori artworks that tautoko (support) and awhi (embrace) the hinengaro (mind), tinana (body) and the wairua (soul).
Rongoā Māori – A Workshop about Māori Healing Remedies from the Forest | Auckland Central City Library, 16 July, 2pm | free
This year for Matariki, Auckland Central Library will be hosting a rongoā Māori (traditional Māori medicine) workshop – an event to share a brief understanding of the process of creating kawakawa balm, soaps, and some natural remedies to help with common cold symptoms during the winter season ahead.
Ngā Mahi a te Rēhia – A Cultural Performance | Auckland Central Library, 22 July, 12pm | free
Auckland Central Library marks the end of this year’s Matariki celebrations with a whakangahau (celebratory entertainment) featuring a kapa haka performance. Ngā Mahi a te Rēhia will be a chance to gain a deeper understanding of te ao Māori (Māori worldview) with our Māori experts, who will walk us through some key elements of the importance of Matariki and kapa haka (cultural performance).
Plan a city centre outing with these guides
Matariki ki te Manawa is proudly supported by Auckland Council and the city centre targeted rate.