Ōpōtiki district is well-placed to be the go-to destination to celebrate Matariki, and this year’s week-long festival of activities and concerts has something for the whole whānau.
From 1 July to 11 July, there is an activity each day to bring in the new year in style - getting the family together, remembering those who have gone before, sharing food, telling stories, and plenty of great music.
Ōpōtiki’s i-SITE manager, Joseph Hayes, said that the team had been working hard to put together an excellent calendar of events.
“There has been so much support and people have offered some incredible talents to share with community as part of the events around Matariki.
“We’ll kick-off with a great family opportunity to try your hand at manu tukutuku / kite flying at Maraetai Bay reserve in Te Kaha. We also have a few Matariki- themed events like a quiz night, night markets (with incredible live music – announcements coming soon), art installations, nature night walks and even a Matariki disco!
“If you want to learn a new skill, there are a few workshops on poi making or Taonga Takaro – traditional Māori games. A mini-film fest with a selection of eight NZ short films showing back to back. There are also few opportunities for public tours and openings like the opening of the new Ford Street Reserve (with its new name revealed) and public tours of the mussel factory.
“Even better, almost all these workshops and events are free or a gold coin koha.
“The concert on Sunday will be a memorable family occasion with great music and plenty of food trucks. And because it is winter, those with little ones don’t have to wait up too late for it to get dark for the annual fireworks display that lights up the night.
“With so much to see and do, it is worth booking a night or three in Ōpōtiki and making the most of these incredible events. The team here at the i-SITE is happy to help with that. And for locals, make sure you have your calendar of events on the fridge and get to as many events as you can. Ngā mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori!” Mr Hayes said.