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Celebrate Matariki at the Library and in Cathedral Square

15 June 2004

Christchurch City Libraries, a service of the Christchurch City Council, is honouring Matariki/Maori New Year with a week of festivities celebrating the world of Maori knowledge.

Matariki is a star cluster which heralds the start of the Aotearoa Pacific New Year. Visible to the naked eye on clear winter evenings after the full moon from early to late June, Matariki is a celebration of Aotearoa’s place in the world.

Toby Rikihana Hapimana kick-started the library festivities today with a workshop on Matariki. Other events for the week include arts and crafts, bilingual signage workshops and kapahaka performances. Star attractions include a performance  by Wiremu Winitana, famed opera star of the Maori Merchant of Venice as well as award-winning Ruia Aperahama, composer of What’s the Time Mr Wolf?

“It’s a great opportunity to celebrate our diversity and the importance of Matariki,” said Christchurch City Libraries Kaiwhakahaere Ratonga Maori Haneta Pierce.

All of Christchurch City Libraries’ events will be held at the Nga Pounamu Maori Centre on the second floor of the Central Library except for the kapahaka performance by Te Whanau Mahitahi (a Beckenham Primary School group) at South Christchurch Library.

The Christchurch City Council is also providing some of the funding for Ngai Tahu’s Whiri Festival to be celebrated on Maori New Year’s Day which falls on Saturday 19 June. The day-long festival in Cathedral Square starts at 10am and all people in Christchurch are invited to come together and celebrate Matariki.

For more information on Matariki events contact:
Nicole Were, Christchurch City Libraries, Ph 941 7845

For further information on the Whiri Festival contact:
Charisma Rangipunga, Ngai Tahu Development Te Reo Unit.
Ph: 027 277 7979

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