Mana Moana: Ōtepoti

Dunedin poised for spectacular inaugural Matariki holiday show

📹 Louise Potiki Bryant (2019) Ki uta ki tai

A spectacular water and light show will herald the inaugural Matariki holiday in Dunedin 24‒26 June. Over three nights, Mana Moana: Ōtepoti 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 Māori and Pāsifikā 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 Māori.

“Ōtepoti 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 Māori and share in a tradition that will help shape Aotearoa’s future identity.

Mana Moana: Ōtepoti 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 Māori and Pāsifikā artists.”

Based on a concept by co-curators Rachael Rakena and Michael Bridgman and produced by Wellington-based production studio Storybox, Mana Moana: Ōtepoti will reflect the connections of Ōtepoti Dunedin to the wider Moananui-a-Kiwa 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: Ōtepoti will wow and inspire.

Mana Moana: Ōtepoti is a new and exciting event that will take place on our harbour, acknowledging the beauty and mana of Ōtepoti’s natural environment,” Ms Wikaira says.
“It will be an immersive, digital storytelling celebration like no other.”

Mana Moana: Ōtepoti coincides with the annual Puaka Matariki Festival which runs from Tuesday 21 June ‒ Sunday 3 July. Unique to Ōtepoti Dunedin, the Festival will offer a citywide programme of community events celebrating the midwinter season of wānaka (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: Ōtepoti
Friday 24 ‒ Sunday 26 June 2022
5.30pm ‒ 8.30pm
Steamer Basin, Wharf Street, Ōtepoti Dunedin

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