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By Stephen Heard
June 23, 2020
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Te Taumata Kapa Haka

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