Matariki Festival 202024/06/2020 10:55am
Lights, song and a spectacular fireworks display will spark joy at Nelson’s Matariki Festival this year as the star cluster Matariki appears in our skies during the month of Pipiri (June).
The appearance of the star cluster marks the start of Māori New Year and a month of celebrations throughout the city.
Nelson City Council’s Matariki Festival begins at 6pm on Saturday, 18 July with a karakia and a mihi from kaumātua, followed by messages from Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese and Tasman Mayor Tim King. Te Kapa o Kura Tai Waka will also provide a special performance. This part of our Matariki celebrations will not be a public event this year, as we are unable to be certain about social distancing guidelines by mid-July.
However, all of the festival’s activities will be live-streamed and available to view via the Council Facebook page or YouTube channel.
The evening will conclude with a fireworks display from Neale Park at 7pm, which is open to the public. Free buses to see the fireworks will be available to and from Akersten St before and after the display. Volunteers from Coastguard Nelson will also be out collecting donations for their new vessel in the Akersten St area.
Unique to this year’s festival is a tribute in the form of images of essential service workers and messages of thanks that will be beamed onto the side of Civic House in a light art display during the evening’s celebrations. Those who wish to see the light art display or the fireworks in person can make an evening of it and support our local businesses while they’re out and about.
The images include staff and volunteers from Nelson Marlborough Health, St John, Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, local iwi, Kai with Love, Department of Conservation, Tasman District Council, New World Nelson and more.
Abigail Packer, Chief of Operations of Kai with Love said: “A huge thank-you to the Civil Defence Emergency Management team from Kai With Love. We are so grateful for your fabulous, professional and friendly help that assisted us in giving food support to thousands of families across the Nelson-Tasman region.”
St John Nelson Bays Territory Operations Manager Anne-Maree Harris said: “St John is thankful and proud of New Zealand’s response to this pandemic.”
All of the festival’s activities will be live-streamed and available to view via the Council Facebook page or YouTube channel. Those who wish to see the light art display or the fireworks in person can make an evening of it and support our local businesses while they’re out and about.
The fireworks will be viewable from various places around the city, including Guppy Park, North Road, Kinzett Terrace Carpark, Peace Grove, Akersten Street and the surrounding area.
Free buses will be available to and from Akersten St before and after the fireworks display. Volunteers from Coastguard Nelson will also be out collecting donations for their new vessel in the Akersten St area.
Mayor Reese said Matariki was a time to reflect on the past, acknowledge the present, and to look forward to the future.
“The past few months have been a challenging time for all of us and the determination, resilience and strength our community has shown has been incredible.
“For Matariki this year we remember those who we have lost in the past year, and we celebrate everyone, particularly our essential service workers, for helping us get to Alert Level 1. The road ahead will not be an easy one, but we must continue to support one another as we reconnect and rebuild in the months to come.”
Council will be following Government health and safety guidelines, and advice from the Nelson Marlborough Health Chief Medical Officer regarding this event. Any changes will be advised ahead of time.
Nelson City Council invites our community to join us in celebrating Matariki on Saturday 18 July 2020.
• Opening Karakia | Kaumātua
• Mayor’s Message | Mayor Rachel Reese
• Kapa Haka Performance | Te Kapa o Kura Tai Waka
• Light Art Projects
The evening will then conclude with a fireworks display at 7pm, from Neale Park.
Fireworks viewing locations
The fireworks can be enjoyed either via livestream or from Guppy Park, North Road, Kinzett Terrace Carpark, Peace Grove, Akersten Street and the surrounding area. Please ensure you that you take care on the roads and when parking your vehicle.
Matariki free bus timetable
- Route 1: 6.45pm - Two buses depart Nelson Depot to Akersten St for the fireworks display
- Route 2: 7.20pm - Bus departs Akersten St > Tāhunanui > Stoke > Richmond
- Route 3: 7.20pm - Bus departs Akersten St > Bishopdale > Stoke > Richmond
Taurapa Light Art Display
Maitai Walkway, Rutherford Park, Paru Paru Road, Nelson.
Date: Friday 17 July Time: 7:30pm-8:30pm
The Taurapa will be lit up on the Maitai River. Information from the artist Maia Hegglun will be shared about its creation, along with designs provided by local school children, based on the theme of migration to Whakatū.
Civic House Light Art Display
Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.
Date: Saturday 18 July Time: 5pm-9pm.
This year, we will have a light art projection on Civic House, which will include a special thanks to Nelson’s essential workers, Civil Defence staff and the community for their combined contributions during COVID-19 lockdown.
Health and safety
To ensure the continued health and safety of our community we encourage social distancing. This event will be guided by Government health and safety guidelines, and advice from the Nelson Marlborough Chief Medical Officer. Any changes to the event will be advised ahead of time.
We look forward to celebrating with you.