Floating images Illusion a highlight for Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival

By Jessica Tyson

An exciting new feature for the Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival is in the pipeline. As part of the feature, stories honouring the Māori heritage of Tāmaki Makaurau will be projected onto millions of water droplets propelled into the air, creating an illusion of images floating on water.

The stories will pay homage to the waka that carried Māori ancestors across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean, to Tāmaki Makaurau.  

The display will accompany performances by top Māori musicians; Maisey Rika, Louis Baker, Tomorrow People, Seth Haapu and his brother Caleb Haapu from Sons of Zion, Modern Māori Quartet, Brotherhood Musiq and Hinera O'Rourke and Caleb Kingi.

Rika's soulful vocals and te reo anthems will bring a close to the festival from, alongside a powerful performance by Ngā Tumanako, the winning haka group from Te Matatini 2019.

The event on February 1 will be hosted by the 19 iwi of Tāmaki Makaurau, in partnership with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

ATEED General Manager - Destination, Steve Armitage, says that the festival provides an important opportunity for Auckland to celebrate its Māori identity.

"I encourage everyone to come along and immerse yourselves in Māori history and culture, partake in unique experiences, and ultimately enjoy this special event."

Throughout the evening, festival-goers will be able to entertain themselves with traditional Māori games and temporary tā moko or be inspired by the artistic talent on display.

Food will also take centre stage so people will be treated to a true taste of Aotearoa by visiting kai neighbourhoods in the marketplace, which will celebrate Māori kai and ingredients.

Other highlights will include Pou Rama, a lighting installation inspired by pouwhenua, and a beautiful collection of garments from award-winning designer Shona Tawhiao.

The arrival of waka will kick off the new water element of the festival at 9pm.