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Dunedin poised for spectacular inaugural Matariki holiday show - DCC

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

 A spectacular water and light show will herald the inaugural Matariki holiday in Dunedin 24-26 June. Over three nights, Mana Moana: Otepoti will entertain and inspire, through a breath-taking and poignant cinematic experience on the Otago Harbour waterfront.

The free Dunedin City Council-funded event will bring together the work of Maori and Pasifika artists through images, short film, poems, dance and more, all projected onto a water screen, creating the illusion of appearing out of thin air.

Mayor of Dunedin Aaron Hawkins, says the event will be an opportunity for the Dunedin community and visitors from elsewhere, to come together to celebrate the season and learn more about Te Ao Maori.

"Otepoti Dunedin has been celebrating Puaka Matariki for many years in our own unique way, recognising the local Kāi Tahu custom of the return of both Puaka and Matariki in our midwinter skies," Mr. Hawkins says.

"It’s an exciting time to now be celebrating Matariki as a National Holiday; our first holiday to acknowledge Te Ao Maori and share in a tradition that will help shape Aotearoa’s future identity.

"Mana Moana: Otepoti will be an inspiring experience and an opportunity for the community to come together beside our harbour, under the southern skies to celebrate this special time of the year and be inspired by Maori and Pasifika artists."

Based on a concept by co-curators Rachael Rakena and Michael Bridgman and produced by Wellington-based production studio Storybox, Mana Moana: Otepoti will reflect the connections of Otepoti Dunedin to the wider Moananui-a-Kiwa (Pacific Ocean) through a series of uplifting stories, that also share the indigenous approach to caring for our environment and water.

The show will run on a reoccurring 30-minute loop, between 5:30pm - 8:30pm over the three nights, allowing multiple opportunities for people to enjoy the spectacle.

To complement the festivities a food night market is planned, alongside hospitality offerings from established eateries in the area.

Jeanette Wikaira Manahautū Dunedin City Council, who leads the Puaka Matariki programme says Mana Moana: Otepoti will wow and inspire.

"Mana Moana: Otepoti is a new and exciting event that will take place on our harbour, acknowledging the beauty and mana of Otepoti’s natural environment," Ms Wikaira says.

"It will be an immersive, digital storytelling celebration like no other."

Mana Moana: Otepoti coincides with the annual Puaka Matariki Festival which runs from Tuesday 21 June - Sunday 3 July. Unique to Otepoti Dunedin, the Festival will offer a citywide programme of community events celebrating the midwinter season of wanaka (learning) and whanaukataka (community spirit). This year’s Puaka Matariki Festival opens publicly with Matariki Ahuka Nui, a mana whenua led dawn ceremony for all, held at Otago Museum on Friday 24 June. This dawn celebration is about welcoming the stars in the morning sky, remembering those who have passed and coming together as a community over shared kai.

More information about the wider 2022 Puaka Matariki Festival programme will be released soon.

Event details:

Mana Moana: Otepoti

Friday 24 - Sunday 26 June 2022

5.30pm - 8.30pm

Steamer Basin, Wharf Street, Otepoti Dunedin

For more details see:

Nau mai, tauti mai - join us in upholding the mana of our waterways and sharing our hopes for the future.

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