Matariki Festival 2021: Events Out West

Matariki is a star cluster that appears in the night sky during mid-winter.  And its appearance signals the start of the Māori new year.

Throughout New Zealand, there’s been a long tradition of whānau coming together to celebrate the new year with kai, kōrero, special events and entertainment.

That tradition remains alive with the annual Auckland-wide Matariki Festival. With a rich programme of events and celebrations, it’s the perfect opportunity to connect with friends and family.

Running from 19 June until 11 July, the Matariki Festival has a packed programme with something for everyone.

Here’s a selection of free events taking place in West Auckland as part of the Matariki Festival.

Ahi Kaa

A fantastic celebration of Matariki for the whole community with a packed programme. Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi will perform and teach poi-making and hākinakina (games and sports). You can also sing along to the Waiata Maumahara, which was composed by the school’s students. Junelle Kunin and Naughty Natives will perform, along with taonga puoro (musical instruments) played by Riki Bennett. A rongoā Māori (traditional Māori healing) guided walk will leave after the closing karakia for the Glen Eden Picnic Ground, a short stroll from Glen Eden Library.

  • Sat 19 June, 10am–1pm: Outside Glen Eden Library, 12-32 Glendale Road, Glen Eden

Māori Moving Image ki Te Uru

Part of an ongoing celebration of Māori artists using animation, film and video. The free exhibition includes a selection from the archives plus new commissions from talented artists such as Tāmaki Makaurau based Jeremy Leatinu’u.

  • Sat 19 June to 29 Aug, 10am-4.30pm (closed on Mondays): Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, 420 Titirangi Rd, Titirangi

Matariki Native Plant Sale

EcoMatters community nursery grows native plants from eco-sourced seeds. So come along and pick up some high-quality plants at a great price. You will also be supporting local nature projects.

  • Sat 26 June, 10am-12pm: EcoMatters Environment Trust, 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn

Celebrating Matariki, the Māori New Year

A fun, free day out for all the whānau. Join local schools, marae and community groups and celebrate Matariki through waiata, haka, performing arts, arts and crafts, stalls and wood carving demonstrations.

  • Sat 26 June: Te Atatū Peninsula Community Centre, 595 Te Atatū Road, Te Atatū Peninsula. 5.30am gathering and pōwhiri, main programme from 9am-3.30pm

Matariki on the Move: Kiriata

A free celebration of Matariki with a stunning selection of short and feature-length films.

  • Tue 29 June, 7pm-9pm: Hollywood Theatre, 20 Saint Georges Road, Avondale

July Saturday Gallery Club: Matariki Manu

Local artist Penny Howard invites children and families to explore the youngest ‘wishing’ star in the Matariki cluster. In this fun and free art-making session, Penny invites children to create their own vibrant bird silhouette filled with wishes using black paper and pastel to fly to Hiwa over the new year. This special event is part of Penny’s Hiwa i te Rangi exhibition on from 4 June-18 July at Corban Estate Arts Centre.

  • Sat 10 July, 10.30am-12pm: Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson, Auckland

Matariki Storytelling Under the Stars at Te Manawa

Suitable for young children aged up to 12. Bring a blanket and enjoy storytelling, hot chocolate, games and fun at Te Manawa’s rooftop terrace.  The event is free, and bookings are recommended.

  • Thurs 1 July, 6pm-pm: Te Manawa Library, 11 Kohuhu Lane, Westgate

Te Manawa Matariki Kanikani Disco

Children of all ages are welcome at Te Manawa’s Matariki Kanikani Disco. So, bring your dancing shoes and dress up for the chance to win prizes.

Fri 5 July, 5.30pm-7pm: Te Manawa Library, 11 Kohuhu Lane, Westgate

There’s a whole host of other events taking place across the Auckland region. For full details go to