MATARIKI Pēwhairangi BAY OF ISLANDS FESTIVAL 2022

The festival pakiwaitara – story.

THE MATARIKI Pēwhairangi  BAY OF ISLANDS FESTIVAL WILL RUN FROM
FRIDAY
 17TH JUNE – SUNDAY 31ST JULY

Journey to the Bay of Islands this June and July to celebrate Puanga Matariki in one of Aotearoa’s most culturally significant and magnificent regions.

The festival will run from Friday 17th June – to Sunday 31st July, featuring over 20 free and ticketed events around the area that connect with one or more of the guiding principles of Matariki and Puanga.

MATARIKI is a time to gather together, to reflect, celebrate and plan for the future with friends and whānau.

The rising of Matariki, or the star cluster known as Pleiades, usually occurs near the end of June and the beginning of July, it heralds in the Māori New Year, Te Tau Hou Māori.

Iwi mark the start of the Māori New Year in different ways around the country and we acknowledge and embrace all beliefs and traditions in our rohe (region).

What is PUANGA?

Ko Puanga te pae ārahi i ngā tohu o te tau hou i te pae ururangi

Puanga leads the celestial signs to herald the New Year

You will quite often hear iwi in parts of the country, including our rohe (region), refer to Puanga or Puanga Matariki.

PUANGA is the star, RIGEL, the brightest star in the Orion constellation. Matariki is seen below Puanga and to the left of Tautoro (the three stars of Orion’s Belt) in the winter night sky. As some parts of the country such as Taranaki, parts of the South Island and here in the Far North struggle to see Matariki clearly from their location, iwi would look to find the next visible star, which is Puanga.

So while all iwi celebrate Te Tau Hou Maori (Maori New Year) in June or July, some will talk of this period as Puanga instead of Matariki.

Puanga Kai Rau

The abundant harvest of Puanga

Like Matariki, Puanga is celebrated over several weeks as we celebrate the harvest and the hard work of the previous year and prepare the gardens for planting after the winter frosts.

It is a time for reflection, preparation, learning and celebration. Our festival events and experiences will connect with these traditions and give all people the opportunity to embrace, learn, feast and celebrate together.

Matariki is clearly visible from the Bay of Islands as we are located on the East Coast and we acknowledge Puanga as part of our wider story.

MATARIKI HUNGA NUI:

The many people of Matariki.

Matariki calls people to gather together, return home, remember loved ones and celebrate with whānau and friends. Matariki is an opportunity to return to the places you call home, and to reaffirm bonds you have with whānau, friends and communities. It is also an opportunity to experience our famous Northland manaakitanga (hospitality), we warmly invite everyone to join us for this special time of the year!

MATARIKI AHUNGA NUI:

The great food piles of Matariki.

Food and feasting are a central element of the Matariki period, and people come together to feast. Matariki is an opportunity to promote, celebrate and eat our local produce. It is a time where we can prepare our favourite dishes, come together to share a meal, and support local restaurants and food producers. The busy harvest season is over and our food stores are full! Come together to discover, taste and enjoy the fruits of our bountiful Northland harvest!

MATARIKI MANAKO NUI:

Our wishes and desires for the future!

Traditionally Māori would send their hopes and dreams into the stars during Matariki. These desires are similar to New Year resolutions and are focused on the promise of a bountiful year to come. Many of the wishes of the ancestors were connected to the wellbeing of both people and the environment. The different stars of Matariki are associated with different environmental domains. Matariki is a time where wishes and resolutions are made that are not centred on individual wants but on the wider environment.

Matariki: our new public holiday

ON THE 4TH FEBRUARY 2021 AT WAITANGI IN THE BAY OF ISLANDS, PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN ANNOUNCED THAT MATARIKI WOULD BECOME A NATIONAL HOLIDAY FROM 2022. IN APRIL 2022 THE MATARIKI PUBLIC HOLIDAY BILL WAS PASSED

Matariki will be a distinctly New Zealand holiday; a time for reflection and celebration, and our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori,” Ardern said. “This will be a day to acknowledge our nation’s unique, shared identity, and the importance of tikanga Māori. It’s going to be something very special, and something uniquely New Zealand.” The Right Honorable Jacinda Ardern

Dates will change each year, in accordance with the appearance of the Matariki cluster in our skies. This year, Matariki is recognised on Friday 24th June and the dates have been set for 30 years. 

The Matariki Advisory Group chaired by the renowned Māori astronomer, Professor Rangiānehu Matamua, has been established to determine these dates and how the differences and variations between iwi are recognised. The group also includes astrophysicist Dr Pauline Harris; Puanga expert Dr Ruakere Hond; ocean navigators Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, Jack Thatcher, Te Tai Tokerau Māori astronomer Rereata Makiha, and Ngāi Tahu star expert Victoria Campbell. 

Given that the announcement of this new holiday was in our rohe, we are proud host Matariki Pewhairangi Bay of Islands, a festival embracing our local culture, food and celebrations.

IT’S ABOUT COMMUNITY

THIS FESTIVAL EVENT HAS BEEN DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL IWI, BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS, WITH SUPPORT FROM MAJOR EVENTS ORGANISER, Jacman Entertainment.

If recent years and a global pandemic taught us anything, it was that to survive we need to have resilience and to support each other. Our region relies heavily on tourism and has had a tough time with extended lockdowns and restrictions. The festival has brought a community together to welcome Aotearoa and the world back, we hope you will join us to celebrate!

He waka eke noa 
We are all in this together

STAR GAZING IN THE FAR NORTH

Our low levels of light pollution make the Bay of Islands one of premium spots in Aotearoa to star-gaze! We will have astrophotography workshops, pre-dawn boat cruises and lots of tips as to where to go to enjoy our incredible night sky.

BECOME PART OF OUR SPECIAL MATARIKI EVENT

DO YOU HAVE A MATARIKI THEMED EVENT OR CONCEPT? WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO BECOME PART OF OUR EVENT PROGRAMME.

We are currently taking submissions to be part of the festival programme. If you have a Matariki event that you would like to be included in our programme or a concept you would like to discuss, please contact the Festival Programme Director by filling out our enquiry form.

All enquiries are welcome, we would love to hear from you!

5 + 2 =

Come to the Bay of Islands to enjoy our culture, our food, our creativity and our stunning natural environment.

Come and share our Northland celebrations, hear our unique stories, and experience our manaakitanga and the natural beauty of the Far North.

We look forward to welcoming you.