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Te Taumata Kapa Haka

Liven up your lunch break with kapa haka and hāngi.
By Stephen Heard
June 23, 2020
By Stephen Heard
June 23, 2020

In Māori culture the dawn of a new year aligns with the rise of the Pleiades constellation — otherwise known as Matariki. Appearing late May through June, the constellation was once used for navigation and timing the seasons. Now, it's recognised as a time to honour Aotearoa's Māori identity, to reflect, look forward and connect with friends and whānau. After the challenges of the past few months, the Matariki refresh button arrives at a fitting time for the nation.

To mark the occasion, every year Auckland Council presents Matariki Festival — a three-week program of events. This year will see a re-sized festival in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Matariki Festival 2020 begins on 20 June with the winter solstice and ends on 15 July as the Matariki star cluster rises above the horizon in the pre-dawn sky.

In Britomart's Takutai Square a display of light boxes will showcase some of Tāmaki Makaurau's most successful kapa haka competitors. From Monday, 29 June to Saturday, 4 July, the art form will come to life across two 20-minute performances each day, at 12.15pm and 1.15pm. Attendees (between 30 June – 4 July) are also invited to purchase an earth-oven hāngi lunch while watching the exhilarating performances. Hāngi master Rewi Spraggon will be serving hāngi pies and hāngi lunchboxes.

Image: Auckland Council.

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