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By Stephen Heard
June 24, 2020

Matariki ki Poneke 2020

This year's re-sized festival will include online and smaller community events across Pōneke.
By Stephen Heard
June 24, 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 Wellington City Council presents Matariki ki Pōneke 2020 — a two-week program of events. This year will see a re-sized festival in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"While we'll still be showcasing indigenous art, culture and kai, encouraging kōrero and engaging with communities, and celebrating with whānau and friends — we'll also be combining immersive online experiences with live events." says Councillor Jill Day.

Matariki ki Pōneke 2020 begins on 13 July as the Matariki star cluster rises above the horizon in the pre-dawn sky and ends on 26 July. This year's festival will incorporate a large-scale projected story on Te Papa, plus arts, workshops, and displays around the capital to celebrate the festival.

Odlins Plaza will see live performances featuring local traditional and contemporary artists, fire and kai. Tūrama (20–23 July) will feature pillars of light representing reflection, remembrance and renewal that move through suburban Wellington over the course of four nights. There will also be an app to find the Matariki stars in the sky and the stories behind them all.

The 2020 Sky Show has been postponed — a new date is yet to be confirmed.

Image: Te Papa.

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