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Matariki Festival

Information about Matariki and the 2019 Matariki Festival Whangarei events hosted by Whangarei District Libraries.
Updated: 19/12/2019 11:08 a.m.

Whangarei Matariki Festival .

About Matariki

Matariki is the name given by Māori to a cluster of stars, part of a constellation known in Western astronomy as Pleiades (or Subaru in Japan). The appearance of the stars in the dawn sky in late May, early June marks the start of a new phase of life - the Aotearoa Pacific new year.

While various Iwi celebrate Matariki at different times, most festivities begin at the next new moon after Matariki has risen. In 2019 this Pipiri is 25 June.

There are two English translations of Matariki - mata riki (tiny eyes) or mata ariki (eyes of god) referring to the eyes watching over the land and its people.

The celebration of Matariki has undergone a revival in recent years, with a growing awareness among New Zealanders of Māori traditions contributing to their unique cultural identity.

Matariki is a growing tradition celebrating people, language, spirituality and history.

2019 Matariki Festival Whangarei

Free activities for all ages to celebrate Matariki, hosted by Whangarei District Libraries.

Matariki at Hihiaua

Saturday 22 June 10am to 2pm, Hihiaua Peninsula

Matariki Children's Kite Workshop

Make and decorate your own Matariki kite. All materials provided.
Free for children of all ages. Children under 12 to be accompanied by an adult.

Make a Matariki Badge

Saturday 29 June, 10:30am - 12:30pm, Māori Room, Whangarei Central Library

Design and make your own special Matariki badge.
All ages. Free entry.

Flax Weaving Workshop for Beginners

2 workshops:
Wednesday 26 June, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Friday 28 June, 9.30 am - 12.30pm
Māori Room, Whangarei Central Library

Try flax weaving in this fun, hands-on class in a small group with a skilled weaver. Suitable for adults with little or no flax working experience.
Free entry. Ten person maximum.

Registration required

To register: phone 09 430 4206 or email

Registrations close Friday 21 June, 12pm.

Flax Weaving Workshops for Experienced Weavers

2 workshops:
Tuesday 2 July, 10am – 2pm
Wednesday 3 July, 10am - 2pm
Māori Room, Whangarei Central Library

Join in this fun, hands-on, small-group instruction in the craft of flax weaving by a skilled tutor Suitable for adults who have completed the Beginner Workshop or have had prior flax working experience. 
Free entry. Six person maximum.

Registration required

To register: phone 09 430 4206 or email

Registrations close Friday 28 June, 12pm.

Matariki Crafts

Wednesday 3 July, 10am - 11.30am, May Bain Room, Whangarei Central Library

Come along to our Library Craft Group for adults. Enjoy the company of fellow crafters for a special Matariki themed crafting workshop.  Have a cuppa and make new friends along the way. It's a free drop-in group so no registration required.

Matariki Preschool Funtimes

Preschool Funtime sessions with Maori themes, crafts, stories and waiata to celebrate Matariki.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tikipunga Library, 10 - 11 am

  • Tuesday 25 June
  • Tuesday 02 July.

Whangarei Central Library, 10 - 11am

  • Wednesday 26 June
  • Thursday 27 June
  • Wednesday 03 July
  • Thursday 04 July.

Teen Breakfast Club - Matariki Crafts

Teen Space, Whangarei Central Library, 9.30am - 12pm

Crafts for ages 10 and over. Breakfast snack food supplied. Free drop-in event. No registration required.

Week One

  • Wed 10 July Mini bottle constellations. Woven stars
  • Thursday 11 July Lanterns
  • Friday 12 July Night sky mini art using pastels. Origami stars.

Week Two

  • Wed 17 July Plastic upcycle
  • Thursday 18 July Cardboard construction day
  • Friday 19 July Clay sea turtles, starfish, stingrays, fish.




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