Maidens and Misters for a night of Matariki fun!

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Kaikōura district is marking Matariki with a free community ball on Saturday 21 July that will celebrate the strength and selflessness of its community through dark times and also the bright times to look forward to. Event organiser Keri King (Te Ahi Wairua o Kaikōura) says, “Everyone in our community is a star. Thanks to the generosity of Te Rununga o Mataawaka o Otautahi, we have seven awards that will be given out for each of Matariki’s stars. These awards represent some special things that people have done within our community over the last 18months.”

The ball is a collaboration between Te Ahi Wairua o Kaikōura, Te Puni Kokiri, Te Rununga o Mataawaka o Otautahi, Te Hā o Mātauranga - Learning in Kaikōura, Te Rununga o Kaikōura, Kaikōura District Council, All Right? Kaikōura – Mental Health Campaign, Kaikōura Māori Wardens and Kaikōura Youth Council. “Together, we are planning an event that celebrates what it means to be a member of Kaikōura’s community and what it means to celebrate Matariki. Te Puni Kokiri have provided funding which means we are able to offer this event free to the community,” event chair Lorraine Hawke says.

On the night there will be nibbles, live music, and a photo booth. Ngaio Te Ua (Te Rununga o Nga Mataawaka), says Matariki is “a celebration of all people and life that has been, and a time where we can look forward to a brand new future.”

Councillor Celeste Harnett, event organiser said, “This is the time of year when the whānau star cluster of Matariki come together. Their arrival marks the occurrence of the Māori New Year, a time of reflection, celebration, togetherness and of new beginnings. I truly believe that Kaikōura’s social sustainability relies on the bonds and strengthened relationships that come out of us remembering to interact on the simple stuff like celebrating each other and staying connected as a community.”

“The last 18 months since the earthquake have been hard for lots of people but they’ve also been a time of great selflessness and strength and our community has stepped up, wrapped around each other and provided aroha to friends and neighbours. We wanted to recognise that in a small way and give people the opportunity to celebrate each other.”

Members of the community who attend the ball can enter their own name into the award, or someone else’s – perhaps someone who may had been a light for them in a dark time. This could be anything big or little, from helping with babysitting or running errands, to help with repairs or rebuilds, organising community projects or programmes or just offering an open door and a cup of tea when it was needed most.

The Matariki constellation is seen by many as the mother surrounded by her six daughters, Tupu-a-nuku, Tupu-a-rangi, Waitī, Waitā, Waipuna-a-rangi and Ururangi.

The awards will be in representation of:

  • Matariki, eyes of Tāwhirimātea – for someone who has kept an eye out for others
  • Tupu-ā-rangi, sky tohunga – for someone whose positivity has uplifted others
  • Tupu-ā-nuku, Earth tohunga – for someone who has helped with gardens, the environment or outdoors
  • Waipuna-ā-rangi, sky spring – for someone who has helped take care of our rivers, ocean or beaches,
  • Waitī, sweet water and Waitā, sprinkle of water – two awards for those who have taken special care of our tamariki 
  • Ururangi, entry to the heavens – for someone who has taken special care of our elderly

Those nominated must be in attendance at the ball. Names will be drawn before supper. Tickets for the event are available (free of charge) from Takahanga Marae, Jade Kiwi, the Top Shop and Kaikōura District Library.

Facebook event can be found here.

Download the promotional poster here.

3 July 2018