“Matariki will be celebrated in New Zealand for the first time as a public holiday on June 24th.  In the Wairarapa several events are planned for the weekend. In South Wairarapa the Featherston Matariki Committee is leading the celebrations with an exciting programme of events that cater for the whole community.

Community groups, businesses, volunteers and mana whenua have developed the programme that encompasses storytelling to kite making, a Matariki Classical Concert to community Hangi and much more.

Wairarapa Dark Sky Association encourages all Wairarapa residents and visitors to head to Featherston during the Festival that runs from 23 – 28 June.

The Wairarapa Dark Sky Association congratulates and supports the organising committee for the comprehensive programme it has put together for the festival and wishes the organisers success for this year’s event and future events.”

Viv Napier – Chair

Enjoy the night sky this Matariki with an array of events across the region:

Matariki long weekend celebrations Friday 24 – Sunday 26 June:

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

Friday 21 June – 29 June
Pūkaha is the perfect place to connect with our environment. Come walk in the ngahere (forest) and see manu (birds), reptiles, tuna (eels) and ngāi tipu (fauna). 
Get involved in the Manu tukutuku (kite) workshops, Experienced weavers workshopCommunity workshop, Kids ngahere (forest) trail plus Matariki activity booklets are also available.

Featherston Matariki

Thursday 23 June – Tuesday 28 June

Featherston Paetūmōkai will celebrate the first official national holiday of Matariki with a programme of events. This year will be the biggest yet with storytelling, light installation, mini-fell train rides, maramataka workshop and more! Head here to find out more.


Haerenga with Ra Smith & Becky Bateman
Friday 24 June 5.30am-8.30am, Carterton Events Centre 
A bus tour to Admiral Hill to observe the Matariki cluster with Under the Stars guide Becky Bateman, then to Gladstone complex for breakfast and further teachings 
from storyteller Ra. $10 per person – email cimone@kapaicarterton.nz to register.

Matariki Glow Show 
Friday 24 June 10am (for 0-5 years) and 11.30am (6-12 years), Carterton Events Centre
Tells the gorgeous story of te kāhui whetu õ Matariki as they gather to light up the skies for Te Tau Hou Māori (Māori New Year) with magical glow-in-the-dark characters. Get your tickets here.

Matariki and the Winter Solstice
Friday 24 June 4pm, Stonehenge Aotearoa Carterton
Tour the henge, watch the sun set over the winter heel stone (weather permitting) along with stargazing and live music.

Moving Portraits
Saturday 25 June 1.30pm-2.30pm, Carterton Events Centre
Capturing the rich heritage of Tangata Whenua, Pākeha, Asian, and our kaumātua. Join the first screening, sharing stories of Carterton local’s and their lives. Register here. 

Matariki and the Winter Solstice

Click on the link above to check out the event about Matariki at Stonehenge Aotearoa.


Ngā Haerenga/ Journeys – Celebrating Matariki

Now until 21 August, Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History

Learn about legendary Polynesian explorer Kupe, see a waka fragment discovered on the Wairarapa coast, and learn how Matariki still marks the seasons today.