28 Apr 2021

Christchurch to light up the sky for Matariki

4:21 pm on 28 April 2021

Matariki will be celebrated in Christchurch this year with a two-week light show leading up to a fireworks display.

Matariki star cluster from southern hemisphere

Matariki star cluster from southern hemisphere Photo: NASA

The inaugural Tīrama Mai event, meaning to bring light, will be held from 25 June to 10 July, with displays in central Christchurch and in the seaside suburb of New Brighton.

The displays will include lighting installations, projections, and illuminated artworks by Christchurch lighting artists.

Christchurch City Council's events and arts manager Tanya Cokojic said this was the first time that a lighting event had been held specifically to coincide with Matariki.

"We want it to grow to become a highly collaborative festival, with mana whenua guiding cultural elements and design."

She said the lighting events had proved popular in the past and it made sense to have a festival marking New Zealand's own unique culture and complementing other Matariki events in the city.

Cokojic said the event would over time expand the current street theatre offering to include exhibitions with moving images and projections.

"Ultimately we would like to expand into other areas in the Banks Peninsula and the city also."

The event will conclude with a Matariki fireworks display on Saturday 10 July in New Brighton, replacing the fireworks display previously held on Guy Fawke's night in November.

"We've moved our big fireworks display, usually held each November to July. Holding the fireworks earlier in an evening means families don't need to be out so late and also allows people to visit New Brighton restaurants and cafes before or after the show."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs