The best ways to celebrate Matariki in Auckland this winter

It's Māori New Year, a time to gather with family and friends to reflect and celebrate together. 

If you've heard of 'Matariki' but not so sure what it is, it's is a star cluster which appears in the night sky during mid-winter. 

According to the Maramataka (the Māori lunar calendar), the reappearance of Matariki brings the old lunar year to a close and marks the beginning of the new year. 

Te Papa's website explains that traditionally, Matariki festivities followed the harvesting of crops freeing up time for family and leisure. These festivities included lighting ritual fires, making offerings, and celebrating life and the dead. 

You probably can't go around lighting ritual fires in your backyard this Matariki, so what's the best way to celebrate? We've put together a list of our favourites below. 



The Vector Lights will shine across the Harbour Bridge in celebration of Matariki Festival, from 6pm to midnight from June 27, across July.  The light show and accompanying sound track celebrates the story of 2019 Matariki Festival iwi manaaki (host iwi), Waikato-Tainui. Vector has put together a list of the best lookout spots, found here. 



Celebrate the art of the hāngī in Britomart from Wednesday, when, hāngī master Rewi Spraggon of The Māori Kitchen will be laying a hāngī on the lawn on Takutai Square.

Every morning for the next five days, Rewi and his team will light the hāngi, and by lunchtime they'll be serving up and selling delicious hāngi wraps, hāngi pies, hāngi burgers and lunchboxes with hāngī meats and vegetables. 

If you want to celebrate at home but can't be bothered cooking, get your Matariki feast delivered with Kiwi food delivery company FED's special Matariki dish. According to the site, Woody's free-range pork belly is gently smoked over manuka woodchips before being wrapped in banana leaves. It's teamed with a horopito glaze, coconut creamed watercress and roasted peruperu (Māori potatoes sometimes known as Taewa).  

We sampled them for lunch on Wednesday and can confirm - delicious. 



Māori food champions and ex-Masterchef contestants Kasey and Karena Bird have shared some of their favourite recipes to cook for your Matariki celebrations at home. The recipes - including Atarangi's Rēwana Bread - can be found on Noted.  



Auckland Live will be celebrating Matariki with The New Zealand Dance Company these school holidays, with their premiere season of Matariki for Tamariki. Take the kids, and enjoy the show where a band of friends and whānau travel throughout Aotearoa discovering the lush landscape. It's on 12-14 July at the Bruce Mason centre.