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MTG celebrates Matariki with the community

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Kia ora tatou and Mānawatia a Matariki!

Last weekend MTG Hawke’s Bay, Tai Ahuriri was thrilled to be a part of Napier city’s magical Matariki Light Show. Hershell Street was alive with people from all cultures and Hawke’s Bay families seemed to be out in force for the night.

There were food trucks and an incredible light display playing out against the museum, which also opened its doors to join in the evening.

What a turn out there was, more than 1500 people flocked through the doors of the museum to take part in the evening activities (or were people taking shelter from the winter cold). Whatever the reason, it seemed that people were genuinely loving the opportunity to experience a family friendly event and Aotearoa’s new winter festival.

It was really wonderful to have so many tamariki and their families taking part in a Matariki Star Gaze search through the galleries and a myriad of hand crafted stars were produced by creative kids and their adults.

The museum were fortunate to host performances by Kahurangi Dance as well as a Bollywood night.

The Huata whānau, along with their kapa haka group Kahurangi Māori Dance Company, brought it to the museum, showing once again that they really know how to pull a crowd.

The Bollywood-inspired event by performers from Auckland, presented by Syed Khurram Iqbal, of the Pakistan and Friends Hawke’s Bay Association were hugely popular on the night also.  

Staff at the museum were thrilled to see such a great turnout of people and cultures. It was testimony to our enthusiasm for Matariki as a festival, which is so much more than a public holiday. Perhaps we are all a little proud to be the first country in the world to celebrate an indigenous calendar event as a public holiday.

Over the long weekend the museum has plenty to offer including films that celebrate te Taiao, Free WillyBecoming Cousteau and the life of surfing legend Laird Hamilton in Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton. There are kids activities such as a museum search and our holiday drop in centre.

There are also some neat exhibitions that celebrate the Kahungunu region and its creative stars such as Finding Refuge in Fashion: Minh Ta, Fiona Pardington’s in Tāku Huia Kaimanawa, Making a Mark: The work of Fane Flaws and Kuru Taonga: Voices of Kahungunu.

For those of you who are a bit nostalgic, Silver Shadows: The Story of Marineland is an imaginative and interactive exhibition.

So however you chose to celebrate Matariki, it’s about sharing and being together. So come on down to the museum! We are open every day and would love to see you.

Published in the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper 15 July 2023 and written by Toni MacKinnon, Curator Fine Arts at MTG Hawke’s Bay.

18 July 2023

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