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

Ka Awatea – A Celebration of Matariki 23 -30 June

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

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



All events are free and everyone is welcome and encouraged to come along.

Sunday 23 June

6 – 8.30pm Opening night of Ka Awatea at Collett’s Corner.  

Led by local hapu, Ngati Wheke, the opening of the week of celebrations of Matariki come together for karakia, kõrero and  waiata.  Food from the fire provided by Lyttelton Primary School. 

Monday 24 June

7.30 – 9pm  Jabalani Chair at  Lyttelton Union Parish Chapel

Jabalani Choir invite you to a heart-warming experience on a cold night! 

Lyttelton Union Parish Chapel, 40 Winchester Street.  Be entertained with an informal concert and take part in some simple harmony singing.   Hot drinks provided. 

Tuesday 25 June (MATARIKI) 

7.30 - 9.00pm "Old Fashioned Singalong" at The Commoners

Join Backyard Davey for an "old fashioned singalong" Remember the good old days when we used to gather around and sing? It’s time to revive it and reconnect.  The Commoners, British Hotel, Norwich Quay.

Tuesday 25 June to Friday 28 June 11.30 – 2pm 

Share kõrero, kai and even have a go at traditional carving with Caine Tauwhare, Whakaraupo Carving School tutor, and weaving with Toni Rowe.  Lyttelton Museum site,  London Street  

Wednesday 26 June

7pm.  A thank you to volunteers and friends of past-festivals at Lyttelton Top Club.

6.30 - 7.30pm.   Lyttelton Library Winter stories and hot chocolate.  

When the sun has gone down, join us at the library for a fun session of stories, songs and rhymes followed by crafts and hot chocolate. Pyjamas and teddies optional but very welcome  

Thursday 27th June

7.30pm.  A Film Night under the Stars at Eruption.

An opportunity to watch Tātarakihi: The Children of Parihaka, outside under the stars (subject to permission, watch for updates).  Tātarakihi tells the story of a ‘journey of memory’ taken by a group of Parihaka children following in the footsteps of their male ancestors who were transported south after the Taranaki land confiscations of the 1860’s. 

Friday 28 June

6 - 8.30pm Youth Event.  Sponsored by LPC, at The Grassy and skate park.  

Samba band workshop and parade from school at 6pm, followed by DJ’s, Pedal Mania and pizza from community garden pizza oven (fundraiser for Year 8 camp).  

Saturday 29 June  

6.30 – 9pm Dance and supper at Trinity Hall. 

Bill Baritompa will teach the dances. He is an experienced caller of barn and bush dances. It is easy and fun for all ages.  Bush Telegraph is a Kiwi Bush Band: Heather Mitchell, Claire Weyland, Sue Allen, John Allen and Geoff Anders.

Bring a plate for a shared supper.  

Saturday night at LAF 

6 - 7pm  LAF Dance and drama student performances. 

7 – 8.30pm Lyttelton Youth Group Dance Party

Sunday 30 June

4 – 7pm Ngāti Wheke - Matariki Celebration at LAF

Education, celebration, creativity, kai and visual performance.   


Sunday 23 June – Sunday 30 June 
Wunder Kammer.  Ten local artists will be commandeering Lyttelton windows as Wunderkammer style curiosities. Keep an eye out for displays, performances and curious installations around town. 

Window Wanderland .  The whole community is invited to get involved. Register your window display online and get on the map.

Get in on the action by doing something with your own windows.


See Project Lyttelton's facebook page for updates


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. 

Reusable cups

Only Globelet reusable cups are being used at the street party for ALL drinks and soup. Globelets are New Zealand-made and are recyclable, reusable, BPA-free. You buy your globelet for $2 when you buy your first drink, then the Globelet is yours to use for the night (you can even rinse it at our rinse station!). At the end of the night you can take it home or return it for a refund.

Apply for a stall

Please email for an application form.

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Glow Paint not Glow Sticks

Glowsticks are lots of fun, but not so great for our environment. The chemical generally used in them is Dibutyl phthalate, which can cause irritation or nausea.

The outer of glowsticks is made of plastic. The combination of Dibutyl phthalate and plastic is a nightmare! We think they would take 1000+ years to breakdown in landfill. If they don't make it to landfill (which they often don't) they're not something we want polluting our waterways.

So we have come up with something that has less of an impact on our environment: Resene have a paint called "Nightlight" ( Follow the safety instructions for this paint and combine it with the idea in this video ( to make glow-in-the-dark bracelets that your children will want to keep and bring out every night! You could also create glow in the dark wands using sticks if short of time. And there must be many other creative ways to play with this stuff!

Happy glowing!