Matariki Magic 2020

19 June 2020


Tauranga Moana will shine brightly at the end of June for Matariki; a celebration of the Māori New Year. 

This year’s Matariki theme is "Ngā kura huna" meaning important knowledge and treasured learnings, that would otherwise remain hidden.  

The 2020 programme of events will run from 21 June to 21 July. There will be a mixture of online and face-to-face workshops offered. Find out more about nutrition (kai), singing (waiata), dancing, whakairo (the art of carving), putiputi (flower arrangement), jewellery making, kemu (games), drawing and traditional poi making.

Keren Paekau, Kaiarahi Maori at Tauranga City Council says that this year’s events are a great opportunity for locals to come together and connect now that the nationwide lockdown has been lifted.

“Planning for this year’s Matariki has been challenging but I’m really proud of the team for pulling together another great programme so that our city can celebrate this important date in the Māori calendar”, said Keren.

“Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, we’ve decided to still host some of the workshops online. But that just means that you can join in from the comfort of your own home”, said Keren. 

Awhina Ngatuere General Manager of Te Puna i Rangiriri Trust says Matariki is about the revival of tikanga Māori and matauranga Māori. It is a reminder of a time our ancestors were living and a time to come together as a united community to celebrate new beginnings.

“This year’s festival has a theme around indigenous knowledge systems and will launch with an early morning hikoi with Waka Navigator Jack Thatcher who will take participants on a guided tour to different locations on Mauao sharing insights about Matariki and about traditional sites of significance around Mauao”, said Awhina. 

The launch of the Tauranga Moana festival also marks a significant date for our local community, as it is the commemoration of the land wars at Te Ranga.

“A karakia by Jack Thatcher and others will take place at the top of Mauao and we welcome the community to share in this occasion. The early morning hikoi on Mauao will take place each day from 21 June until 26 June. Participants should meet near the surf lifesaving building by 5.30am each morning”, said Awhina. 

One of the last events of Matariki, on 21 Julywill be a showing of three short artist documentaries by Māori filmmaker Mita Teremoana Tahata by The Incubator Creative Hub at The Historic Village cinema. The event will be opened by Jo’el Komene. Following the documentaries, a facilitated Q&A panel discussion will take place. Artist panel members are: Kelcy Taratoa, and lata Peautolu who are the subjects of the films and Mita Teremoana Tahata.

The 2020 Matariki Tauranga Moana programme of events will launch on Tuesday, 16 June. Head to to find out more about the events on offer. Check in over the next few days as more events are coming.

Matariki is the Māori name for the star cluster also known as the Pleiades. Towards the end of June through to the end of July, we can observe Matariki rise in the north-eastern horizon just before dawn. The first new moon following the rise of Matariki is the first day of the Māori New Year. 

Tauranga Moana Matariki 2020 is a city-wide initiative that is proudly brought to you this year by the Incubator Creative Hub, Ngai Te Rangi Iwi, Ngati Ranginui Iwi, Tauranga City Council, and Te Puna i Rangiriri Trust.