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Lyttelton, portal to Canterbury’s historic past, a vibrant sustainable community creating a living future

Ka Awatea – A Celebration of Matariki 23 -30 June 2019

Matariki was at the heart of Lyttelton’s winter celebration. 

Matariki marks the Māori New Year and the celebrations, led by local hapu Ngāti Wheke, featured a range of events touching on  Matariki themes of  connection, renewal, tradition and community.









23-30 June 2019

All events are free and everyone is welcome and encouraged to come along. 

Sunday 23 June

6 – 8.30pm Opening night of Ka Awatea at Collett’s Corner.  

Led by local hapu, Ngati Wheke, the opening of the week of celebrations of Matariki come together for karakia, kõrero and  waiata.  Food from the fire provided by Lyttelton Primary School. 

Monday 24 June

7.30 – 9pm Jabalani Chair at  Lyttelton Union Parish Chapel

Jabalani Choir invite you to a heart-warming experience on a cold night! 

Lyttelton Union Parish Chapel, 40 Winchester Street.  Be entertained with an informal concert and take part in some simple harmony singing.   Hot drinks provided. 

Tuesday 25 June (MATARIKI) 

7.30 - 9.00pm "Old Fashioned Singalong" at The Commoners

Join Backyard Davey for an "old fashioned singalong" Remember the good old days when we used to gather around and sing? It’s time to revive it and reconnect.  The Commoners, British Hotel, Norwich Quay.

Tuesday 25 June, Wednesday 26 June, Thursday 27 June and Friday 28 June 11.30 – 2pm Carving and weaving at the Museum site London Street

Share kõrero, kai and even have a go at traditional carving with Caine Tauwhare, Whakaraupo Carving School tutor Tues - Friday , and weaving with Toni Rowe Thursday and Friday.  Lyttelton Museum site,  London Street

Caine Tauwhare talks about the tradition and importance of Matariki here

Wednesday 26 June

7pm A thank you to volunteers and friends of past-festivals at Lyttelton Top Club.

6.30 - 7.30pm Lyttelton Library Winter stories and hot chocolate.  

When the sun has gone down, join us at the library for a fun session of stories, songs and rhymes followed by crafts and hot chocolate. Pyjamas and teddies optional but very welcome  

Thursday 27th June

7.30pm Stargazing at Eruption. Telescopes on the top deck, mulled wine and $15 pizzas all night!

Due to short notice we were unable to get permission to screen the planned film but Ngā Manu Kōrihi Ōtautahi, who co-ordinate most of the Parihaka events in the city, are planning a showing of Tātarakihi: The Children of Parihaka in October.

Friday 28 June

6 - 8.30pm Youth Event.  Sponsored by LPC, at The Grassy and skate park.  

Samba band workshop and parade from school at 6pm, followed by DJ’s, Pedal Mania and pizza from community garden pizza oven (fundraiser for Year 8 camp).  

Saturday 29 June  

6.30 – 9pm Dance and supper at Trinity Hall. 

Bill Baritompa will teach the dances. He is an experienced caller of barn and bush dances. It is easy and fun for all ages.  Bush Telegraph is a Kiwi Bush Band: Heather Mitchell, Claire Weyland, Sue Allen, John Allen and Geoff Anders.

Bring a plate for a shared supper.  

Saturday night at LAF 

6 - 7pm  LAF Dance and drama student performances. 

7 – 8.30pm Lyttelton Youth Group Dance Party

Sunday 30 June

4 – 7pm Ngāti Wheke - Matariki Celebration at LAF

Education, celebration, creativity, kai and visual performance.   


Sunday 23 June – Sunday 30 June 
Wunder Kammer.  Ten local artists will be commandeering Lyttelton windows as Wunderkammer style curiosities. Keep an eye out for displays, performances and curious installations around town. 

Check out the catalogue of installations HERE

Window Wanderland The whole community is invited to get involved. Register your window display online and get on the map or plan your wander HERE

Get in on the action by doing something with your own windows.


See Project Lyttelton's facebook page for updates


Ka Awatea - a Celebration of Matariki

Matariki celebrations will be at the heart of Lyttelton’s new week-long winter festival.

Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters and its appearance above the horizon mid-winter marks the Māori New Year, which this year begins on June 25.

Ka Awatea will run from June 23 - 30 and feature a range of events touching on Matariki themes of connection, renewal, tradition, culture and community, led by local iwi Ngāti Wheke.

“The new event will have a strong focus on Matariki and we are really excited to be working with Ngāti Wheke,” said Project Lyttelton Events Co-ordinator Claire Coates.
“We have had so many creative and exciting ideas from the whole community, there are events happening every day, there really is something for everyone, and many opportunities to connect.”

The week of Matariki celebrations will open at Colletts Corner on Sunday 23 June 6 - 8.30pm with a karakia and waiata and food from the fire.
During the week, June 25 to 30, locals will be able to watch and learn more about traditional carving and weaving with Whakaraupo Carving School tutor Caine Tauwhare and weaver Toni Rowe who will be based on the Lyttelton Museum site in London Street, next to Lyttelton Coffee Company.

Vistors are invited to share kõrero, kai and even have a go.

The Matariki celebrations continue at LAF on Sunday June 30, 4 - 7pm, where Caine and Toni’s pieces will be on display.

A youth-led event will be held at the Skatepark and Grassy on Friday June 28 starting with a parade at 6pm, music, fun with Bike Mania and pizzas from the pizza oven until 8.30pm.

Window Wanderland launches on June 23 and the whole community is invited to get involved. Register your window display online and get on the map.
Wunder Kammer also goes on display.

The original Wunderkammer artist designed windows of curiosity, oddity and theatrical invention.
Ten local artists will be commandeering Lyttelton windows as Wunderkammer style curiosities. Keep an eye out for displays, performances and curious installations around town. Get in on the action by doing something with your own windows.

Creative Sampler workshops will be held on Sunday June 16 in the Trinity Hall at Lyttelton Recreation Centre 11am - 3pm. Come along and plan and make your window creation for the Window Wanderland, decorate your scooter or skateboard with lights, or make a lantern for the parade. 

Matariki Celebrations

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars which is visible in the New Zealand night sky at a specific time of the year. Matariki re-appears in the dawn sky mid-winter signalling the start of the Māori New Year and the date changes each year according to the Māori lunar calendar.

Whakaraupo Carving Centre tutor Caine Tauwhare from local hapu Ngāti Wheke talks about the significance and traditions of Matariki here