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Matariki Festival

Information about Matariki and the 2017 Matariki Festival Whangarei events hosted by Whangarei Libraries.
Updated: 15/06/2017 11:30 a.m.
Whangarei Matariki Festival .

About Matariki

Matariki is the name given by Māori to a cluster of seven stars, part of a constellation known in Western astronomy as Pleiades. 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 2017 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.

2017 Matariki Festival Whangarei

Get into the spirit of Matariki with these free activities for all ages hosted by Whangarei Libraries. 

Matariki Whanau Day

Saturday 17 June 10 am to 2 pm, Whangarei Town Basin - Tamariki Zone

Matariki Children's Kite Workshop

Activity for children of any age to construct and decorate their own Matariki kites.
Children under 12 years to be accompanied by an adult.
Free entry. 

Design a Matariki Star

Saturday 17 June – Friday 7 July

Pick up an entry form with instructions from any branch of Whangarei Libraries or download and print from link below.
Return Matariki star designs to the Checkout desk at Whangarei Central Library to collect a prize. One entry per person.  All entries will receive a prize.

For children 12 years or younger.

Download Design a Matariki Star entry form [pdf: 462kb]

Matariki Badge Making

Saturday 25 June, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, Māori Room, Whangarei Central Library

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

Flax Weaving Workshop for Beginners

Friday 23 June, 9.30am – 12.30pm, Māori Room, Whangarei Central Library

Small group instruction in the craft of flax weaving by a skilled tutor.  Suitable for adults with little or no flax working experience. 
Ten person maximum. Free entry.

Registration required

To register: phone 09 430 4206 or email

Registrations close Tuesday 20 June, 12 pm.

Flax Weaving Workshops for Experienced Weavers

2 workshops:
Friday 30 June, 10 am – 2 pm
Monday 3 July, 10 am - 2 pm
Māori Room, Whangarei Central Library

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 experience.
Six person maximum. Free entry.

Registration required

To register: phone 09 430 4206 or email

Registrations  for 30 June workshop close Tuesday 27 June, 12 pm.
Registrations for 3 July workshop close Thursday 29 June 12 pm.

Matariki Preschool Funtimes

Tikipunga Library

  • Tuesday 20 June, 10 – 11 am
  • Tuesday 27 June, 10 – 11 am
  • Tuesday 4 July, 10 – 11 am

    Whangarei Central Library

    • Wednesday 21 June, 10 – 11 am
    • Thursday 22 June, 10 – 11 am
    • Wednesday 28 June, 10 – 11 am
    • Thursday 29 June, 10 – 11 am
    • Wednesday 5 July, 10 – 11 am
    • Thursday 6 July, 10 – 11 am

    Free sessions for pre-schoolers and home-schooled children. Preschool programme involving music, movement, storytelling and craft activities with Māori themes and waiata for the Matariki Festival month. All children must be accompanied by an adult.



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