Members of the Maori community gathered at the Historic Village in 17th Avenue at the weekend to celebrate Matariki – the Maori New Year.
Celebrations began on Saturday with a karakia, the reading of a poem and performances, while Sunday’s activities were highlighted by cultural pursuits including carving, flax art, debate, films on the history of the Tauranga Moana, a singing competition and kapa haka.
Damien Kohu works on a Maori carving intended for the entranceway to the Otumoetai marae. Photos: Daniel Hines
Tauranga-based Maori carver Damien Kohu was busy carving large pieces of totara intended for the entranceway to the Otumoetai marae.
He says he still has about six weeks work ahead of him before the project is finished.
Organiser Beverly Palmer, part-owner of WHATU – a group of Tauranga Moana Maori artists – says Matariki celebrations are very similar in spirit to New Year’s Eve celebrations.
She hopes the village will hold more Maori cultural events in the future.
The carving created by Damien Kohu.
Beverly Palmer celebrates Matariki at Historic Village.