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Lyttelton, portal to Canterbury’s historic past, a vibrant sustainable community creating a living future

Ka Awatea – A Community Celebration of Matariki 



Matariki marks the Māori New Year and Lyttelton's community celebrations, led by local hapu Ngāti Wheke, feature a range of events touching on  Matariki themes of  connection, renewal, tradition and community.


Matariki was at the heart of Lyttelton’s new winter celebration in 2019. 








Ka Awatea - a Celebration of Matariki

Matariki celebrations will be at the heart of Lyttelton’s new week-long winter festival.

Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters and its appearance above the horizon mid-winter marks the Māori New Year, which this year begins on June 25.

Ka Awatea will run from June 23 - 30 and feature a range of events touching on Matariki themes of connection, renewal, tradition, culture and community, led by local iwi Ngāti Wheke.

“The new event will have a strong focus on Matariki and we are really excited to be working with Ngāti Wheke,” said Project Lyttelton Events Co-ordinator Claire Coates.
“We have had so many creative and exciting ideas from the whole community, there are events happening every day, there really is something for everyone, and many opportunities to connect.”

The week of Matariki celebrations will open at Colletts Corner on Sunday 23 June 6 - 8.30pm with a karakia and waiata and food from the fire.
During the week, June 25 to 30, locals will be able to watch and learn more about traditional carving and weaving with Whakaraupo Carving School tutor Caine Tauwhare and weaver Toni Rowe who will be based on the Lyttelton Museum site in London Street, next to Lyttelton Coffee Company.

Vistors are invited to share kõrero, kai and even have a go.

The Matariki celebrations continue at LAF on Sunday June 30, 4 - 7pm, where Caine and Toni’s pieces will be on display.

A youth-led event will be held at the Skatepark and Grassy on Friday June 28 starting with a parade at 6pm, music, fun with Bike Mania and pizzas from the pizza oven until 8.30pm.

Window Wanderland launches on June 23 and the whole community is invited to get involved. Register your window display online and get on the map.
Wunder Kammer also goes on display.

The original Wunderkammer artist designed windows of curiosity, oddity and theatrical invention.
Ten local artists will be commandeering Lyttelton windows as Wunderkammer style curiosities. Keep an eye out for displays, performances and curious installations around town. Get in on the action by doing something with your own windows.

Creative Sampler workshops will be held on Sunday June 16 in the Trinity Hall at Lyttelton Recreation Centre 11am - 3pm. Come along and plan and make your window creation for the Window Wanderland, decorate your scooter or skateboard with lights, or make a lantern for the parade. 

Matariki Celebrations

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars which is visible in the New Zealand night sky at a specific time of the year. Matariki re-appears in the dawn sky mid-winter signalling the start of the Māori New Year and the date changes each year according to the Māori lunar calendar.

Whakaraupo Carving Centre tutor Caine Tauwhare from local hapu Ngāti Wheke talks about the significance and traditions of Matariki here