The star cluster Matariki appears in our skies in the month of Pipiri (June–July), marking the start of the Māori New Year.

With the season of Matariki upon us, Nelson City Council invites family and friends of Nelson to Founders Heritage Park to celebrate with us. Come and enjoy culture, cuisine and a night with the stars...

Bring your bean bag and make sure to wrap up warm! There will also be a beautiful selection of Māori kai/cuisine available for purchase during the event.

Saturday 20 July 2019, Energy Centre, Founders Park, 87 Atawhai Drive, Nelson, GOLD COIN ENTRY

Matariki Festival

3 – 6pm Movie Alfresco and Kapa Haka





TAMA TU 2004 / Comedy / G 18 min

Six Maori Battalion soldiers wait for night to fall in the ruins of an Italian home. Forced into silence they keep themselves amused like any boys would, with jokes and laughter. As they try to ignore the reminders of war around them, a tohu (sign) brings them back to the world of the dying.They gather to say a karakia (prayer) to unite their spirits before they head back into the dark of war.

Kapa Haka Performances by: Te Pouahi (Nelson Central School); Te Pītau Whakarei (Nelson Intermediate) and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia Te Matangi.

All three groups are representing Whakatū/Nelson at Te Mana Kuratahi National Primary School kapa haka competition.

Tātai Arorangi (Star Party)

6.30 – 8pm Star gazing

Guest speaker Toa Waaka (Vice President, of the Society of Māori Astronomy).

Toa will share stories of the Māori creation story, Māori cosmology and link the big bang theory, as well as insights of how Māori used the night sky for navigation.

Other events in the region

The Victory Community Matariki Celebration
Victory Community Centre, 2 Totara St,26 June, 3.45 – 8pm

  • Hāngī – $3 koha
  • Hikoi from Centre to Victory Park
  • Art display.

For more information visit

Annual Whenua Ceremony
Botanical Hill, 29 June, 12 – 2pm

In traditional Māori culture whenua (placenta) of new-born babies are buried in a significant place. This is the 11th year the NZ College of Midwives have hosted this event for the Nelson community. For more information contact, or phone 03 546 0237.