Kite flying festivities coming for Matariki

If you have been wondering how to get amongst Matariki this Maori new year, The Project has the answer and it comes in the form of a kite.

The celebration happens every year when the seven-star Matariki cluster rises in the sky during winter.

Kites are typically used as a symbol marking the beginning of the celebration.

The Project host Kanoa Lloyd says kites have a meaning deeper than just bringing people together.

"[They are used for] sending out messages to loved ones who have gone, a link between heaven and earth," Lloyd says.

He Manu o Aotearoa runs kite-making workshops and expert, Harko Brown, says kites also tell a story of Māori heritage.

"The story about Papatuanuku and Ranginui being parted. Tane Mahuta did the parting and there was one of the gods, Ratu, who was really really angry that it happened. He's basically  the spoilt one, he just lost it. He blew the forest trees down, he caused gales.

 "So the idea with kites is that in Māori society it's very inclusive. So just because someone loses it, you forgive them and you bring them back in the fold."

Brown urges people to get together with their families to make kites for Matariki.

Auckland's kite flying festival 'Manu Aute Kites' is on Sunday 28 June.

This year Matariki begins on Monday July 13.