Successful inaugural Matariki Whānau Day held at Arataki

By Tepara Koti
Arataki under the stars - Photo / Arataki Visitor Centre

Mana whenua representatives from Te Kawerau a Maki, along with students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae welcomed the wider community with a pōwhiri and karakia to start the day's event.  The Whānau Day was set up, along with a number of other upcoming events, to mark Matariki, the Māori New Year.

[Video posted by Greg Presland]

Visitors were encouraged to follow the Matariki Trail and learn how Māori used the different plants in the forest.  They could also hear about local Māori history and identify historical Pa sites.

The announcement of the Matariki Photographic Competition winners was held with an exhibition of the finalists' entries.

Throughout the day, visitors were treated to performances from Henderson North Primary and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae.

[Video posted by Arataki Visitor Centre]

There were workshop sessions of making putiputi harakeke, tiki/taonga making with clay, adding to the Stars of Matariki display, and learning the Matariki song "Tīrama Tīrama" with MKT (Maniapoto ki Tāmaki), whose members helped out with the workshops.

The community response on the event has been positive, with visitors posting to the Arataki Visitor Centre's facebook page:

Joanne-David Jiggins said, "We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Matariki celebration! Thank you to everyone involved for making the day such a success!!"

Megan Blennerhassett said, "Thanks for providing this to the community - amazing event!"

"It was a lovely event.  Well done Arataki," said Kate Brookson-Morris.

More events are being held at Arataki during this Matariki season, as well as another Whānau Day on July 2, both are funded by the Waitākere Ranges Local Board.
More information can be found on their facebook page.