This year, Matariki celebrations are returning to Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) with a dawn karakia to take place on the summit.
The karakia will take place on June 20, the day that signals the start of the Auckland Council's month-long family focused festival, celebrating the rise of Matariki and the beginning of the Māori New Year.
It will be the first Matariki event on the ancestral maunga since their return to the 13 Mana Whenua tribes under the Tāmaki Collective Treaty settlement legislation in 2014.
Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority chairperson, Paul Majurey says Matariki at Maungakiekie signals the future partnerships between Mana Whenua and Auckland Council which will achieve significant positive outcomes for Tāmaki Makaurau.
Arts and Cultural Committee Chair Alf Filipaina believes “It’s exciting and fitting to be able to gather with local iwi on Maungakiekie to herald in Matariki and acknowledge the special connection between mana whenua and the city.”
Festival Director Anahera Higgins is thrilled the event is at Maungakiekie given the significance of the Tūpuna Maunga to the 13 iwi/hapū of Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau and all Aucklanders.
“The Dawn Karakia will be the perfect blessing for the Māori New Year and an appropriate start to our Matariki Festivities for Tāmaki Makaurau.”
Matariki festivities run until July 19 and features the return of 2degrees Kapa Haka Super 12s, regional event programme Matariki on the Move, and Manu Aute Kite Day at Ōrākei Marae, as well as more than 100 music, arts and cultural events across the region.
The Dawn karakia will start at 6am.