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

Visibility of Puaka and Matariki

Alan Gilmore, the former superintendent of the University of Canterbury Mount John Observatory at Tekapo, explains the difference between the reappearance of Puaka and the rising of Matariki each winter.

The Earth circles the Sun through the year. This causes the Sun to appear to move a little east against the background stars each day. We take our time from the Sun, not from the stars, so we see the stars shifting a little west each day. This causes the stars to rise and set four minutes earlier each day. That is why we see different stars at different times of the year.

Most people know the pattern of ‘The Pot’ or ‘The Saucepan’, Orion’s belt and sword in European and Middle Eastern astronomy. The Pot is first seen in the evening sky in spring when it is rising in the east. By summer it is midway up our northern sky at dusk. (Puaka/Rigel, a bright bluish star, is then straight above The Pot.) In the autumn The Pot falls lower in the western sky. Around the beginning of June it can be seen both setting in the dusk and rising in the dawn. So it never completely disappears from our sky. The three bright stars of The Pot are on the equator of the sky.

Stars in the south stay in our sky all the time. The Southern Cross is nearly overhead on May and June evenings. In August and September it is nearly on its side on the southwest. In November it is upside down low on the south skyline. In February–March it is on its other side in the southeast sky.

The Earth’s axis is tilted to its orbit. That is why we have seasons. In our summer the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun. In our winter, when the Earth is around the other side of the Sun, the southern hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun. Between the summer and winter the Earth’s equator is pointed at the Sun. That’s when we have the equinoxes: equal day and night.

The Earth’s tilt causes the Sun’s annual track through the stars to be tilted to the equator of the sky. In our summer the Sun hides star patterns of the southern sky around the Scorpion and Sagittarius. As the Sun moves on these constellations appear in the dawn sky. They are overhead in mid-winter.

The Matariki/Pleiades star cluster is in the north sky close to the Sun’s track. So Matariki is hidden by the Sun from late April to mid-June as the Sun moves past that part of the sky.

The Sun’s track is well north of, or below, Orion. So Puaka is never hidden by the Sun from our southern hemisphere viewpoint. At the end of May and for most of June Puaka can be seen both setting in the western sky at dusk and rising in the eastern sky at dawn.

Matariki, being a cluster of stars much fainter than Puaka, is not seen in bright twilight nor when it is near the horizon. It has to be higher in a darker sky to be seen. There are no reliable naked-eye sightings of Matariki before June 14.

Approximate rise times for Puaka/Rigel, the Sun and Matariki at Dunedin (a.m. NZST)
Date           Puaka/Rigel       Sun        Matariki
May 20          7:20                 7:50
May 25          7:00                 7:55
May 30          6:40                 8:00
June 4            6:21                 8:05            7:14
June 9            6:01                 8:08            6:55
June 14          5:41                 8:11            6:35
June 19          5:22                 8:13            6:15

Copyright © 2022« PUAKA MATARIKI DUNEDIN. All rights reserved. All images © 2022 Puaka Matariki Dunedin and otherwise remain property of the owners.
error: Content is protected !!