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Wintec Matariki festival casts a light on the future

Horahia Matariki celebrates the Māori new year at Wintec, drawing from the past to celebrate a brighter future with a stellar line-up of events from 3-31 July 2020.

The annual Matariki festival at Wintec is named after the seven pou whakarae (pillars) representing the  star cluster that line the entrance to Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa marae on the Wintec Hamilton City campus..

Wintec Executive Director - Māori, Hera White says the theme, “Manaaki Tangata – Caring for our Future” celebrates resilience through the challenges faced, in a year that has already tested people in many ways.

“Traditionally, Matariki is a time for reflection of loss, celebrating new life and planning for the year ahead, and Matariki is also the perfect time to wānanga - research, design, collaborate and retell the stories that make us who we are,” she says.

“Our resilience as a community has recently been tested and Matariki has arrived in time to shed some light, re-purpose and reveal opportunities to collaborate, congregate and celebrate the way forward.”

The festival will launch with Te Whakarewatanga at 7am on Friday 3 July at the site of Tōia Mai, the interactive Matariki sculpture created at Wintec on the Ferrybank Reserve alongside the Waikato River. Te Whakarewatanga will celebrate Matariki with karakia (blessing), music, waiata (songs) and stories. This event will also be live-streamed on the Wintec Māori and Pasifika Facebook page. 

The Horahia Matariki series of events for students, staff and the wider community includes the launch of a new digital resource, Te Pātaka, a history tour, an online talent quest, a night shelter dinner and a series of welcome pōwhiri for new students, staff and whānau to launch Semester 2 at Wintec.

“We are living in ever-changing times, and Matariki is a time to draw from the past, celebrate our culture and the learnings we have. Horahia Matariki is our Wintec festival and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” says White.

“Celebrating Matariki at Wintec increases the visibility and understanding of Māori and Pasifika culture across our diverse student, staff and community audience.”

A traditional fire ceremony at Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa marae at Wintec on Friday 31 July will be the closing event for Horahia Matariki 2020. Pō Maumahara will be a night of reflection and remembrance to set a focus for the year ahead.

Find out more about the Horahia Matariki 2020 series of events.

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