Ngāti Manuhiri is set to host this year's Matariki Festival in partnership with The Auckland Council.
The Auckland iwi whose rohe extends from Bream Trail in the north to the Okura River mouth on the north shore, includes the off-shore island Hauturu o Toi, Kawau o Tū Māro, Panitiki and Hawere a Maki.
Ngāti Manuhiri will host the Matariki dawn karakia to mark the beginning of the festival on June 10. The karakia is conducted annually at a culturally significant site chosen by mana whenua.
It's an event that allows the host iwi to welcome guests to mark the start of the Māori New Year.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says he is enthusiastic about the partnership.
“Matariki is the time we recognise the culture and traditions of this country’s tangata whenua.
Traditionally whanau come together to reflect on the past, show respect for the land on which we live and celebrate new beginnings. This festival gives Aucklanders and visitors the opportunity to come together and hear the stories and traditions of Matariki through the eyes of the host iwi. I encourage everyone to share in the 2017 programme of Auckland’s premier winter festival,” says Mayor Goff.
Mook Hohneck, Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust CEO, says Ngāti Manuhiri is looking forward to the opportunity to reflect and share its culture with all of Tāmaki Makaurau and the people of Aotearoa.
“Customarily, Matariki meant we gave thanks for what was handed down to us from our tupuna and the whakapapa that connects us physically, spiritually and metaphorically to all things Māori. It was a time of togetherness and new beginnings. Today it remains all of those things as well as the opportunity to celebrate and share our unique culture in Tāmaki Makaurau. By acknowledging the importance of past through events like Matariki, we are ensuring the long-term sustainability of our culture for future generations.”
The cover image for this year’s programme is the pou whenua (land marker) representing the eponymous ancestor of Ngati Manuhiri.