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

The Little Eyes of Matariki: A Winter Happening

Signal Hill Studios invite NEV locals to join this celestial celebration, beneath the little eyes of Matariki that herald the transition of the New Year. Celebrate the darkness coming into light with illuminations, music, poetry, storytelling and fabric printing.

Nau mai, piki mai! Cycle, walk, catch the bus up the hill and bring the whole whānau along.

Bring your own garment along to screen-print ✨

Otago Museum – Puaka Matariki @ OM

Long, cold winter nights may seem like the perfect time to stay indoors, but that’s also when our southern skies really shine, so Otago Museum invites you to bundle up and join us outside to celebrate Puaka Matariki!

For two evenings, we’ll open up Lab-in-a-Box on the Museum Reserve to share our favourite astronomical stories, stargaze, and deliver hands-on demonstrations about the science of starlight.

In partnership with the Dodd-Walls Centre

5:30pm – 8pm, Friday 17 – Saturday 18 July
Museum Reserve (Hutton Theatre if inclement weather)

Otago Museum – Light of the Stars: Mārama ā-Whetū

Planetarium Show

Celebrate the Puaka Matariki Festival with a visit to the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium for the film Light of the Stars: Mārama ā-Whetū, which explores Māori sky lore, myths and legends relating to the southern night sky.

The show is narrated in English and tells the story of the Polynesian explorers who navigated across the ocean to Aotearoa New Zealand, highlighting New Zealand’s most significant astronomical features.

Restricted to ages 3 and up.
Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

10.30am daily, Monday 13 – Sunday 19 July
Perpetual Guardian Planetarium
Adults $12, Children $7

Puaka Matariki 2020 @ Dunedin Public Libraries

This year Dunedin Public Libraries – Kā Kete Wānaka o Ōtepoti is celebrating the start of the Māori New Year with Puaka on Sunday 12th July, then Matariki from Monday 13th – Monday 20th July.

Puaka Matariki is a time for us to reflect on life, the physical world, remember the past and our hopes for the future.

Join us daily on our website and Facebook page as we examine a different star in the Matariki cluster and what significance it has for us in our work in the library.

🌐 Website     👍 Facebook


Ngā Whetū:

1.       Puaka 12 JulyKia manawanui – Be steadfast
2.       Matariki 13 JulyWhakarāmemene – Come together
3.       Pōhutukawa 14 JulyMaumahara – Remember
4.       Waitī 15 JulyHe reo waitī – Harmony
5.       Waitā 16 JulyNgākau whakaute – Respect
6.       Waipuna-ā-raki 17 JulyWhaiwhakaaro – Reflect
7.       Tupuānuku & Tupuāraki 18 JulyHauhake – Harvest
8.       Ururaki 19 JulyTā te manawa – Breathe
9.       Hiwa-i-te-raki 20 JulyTūmanako – Hope

Otago Museum – Puaka Matariki Makerspace

Puaka Matariki is a time for celebration, reflection, sharing knowledge, and preparing the soil for the next harvest.

This colder time is also a great excuse to come to the Makerspace tables and get crafting. Get creative making your own Puaka Planisphere greeting card and a super cool Twirly Whirly.

These self-guided, family-friendly activities are a great way to spend an hour, or three!

All day, Monday 6 – Friday 17 July
Atrium Level 1

Otago Museum – Puaka Matariki Gallery Trail

Puaka Matariki is a time for celebration, reflection, sharing knowledge, and preparing the soil for the next harvest. This colder time is a great excuse to explore the Museum, wander the galleries, and discover something new.

Otago Museum gallery trails are a perfect day out during long school holidays. Take your favourite small person on a hunt through the Museum and follow the clues to collect your reward!

OM Gallery Trail

Daily, Saturday 4 – Sunday 19 July

Collect your free trail from the Otago Museum Info Desk


Curated by Jesse-James Pickery (Ngā Puhi) and Māia Abraham (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāi Tūhoe), UKU // UTU is a period of wānaka and of exhibition. Investigating uku (clay) as a visual arts medium and giver of life, artists, guests and visitors will collaborate over six weeks of public events that reimagine the structure and function of exhibition making and presentation within a contemporary experimental framework.

To learn more about UKU // UTU, the curators, collaborators and events, visit

Te Tio Kikorangi Blue Oyster Art Project Space, 16 Dowling Street, Dunedin

Wednesday 17 July – Saturday 24 August. FREE

Contact       03 479 0197

Nocturnal Projections And Other Small Happenings Panel Discussion

Artists involved in the project join Catherine Cocker, the curator of this event, which is happening in various places around Dunedin City. Featuring Layne Waerea (Te Arawa, Ngāti Kahungunu), creator of the Rear Window work Māori Lane. All welcome.

Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 30 The Octagon, Dunedin

Monday 8 July, 12.30–1.30pm. FREE

Contact       03 474 3249

Matariki Makerspace

Check out our galleries for inspiration then get stuck into a Matariki-inspired activity at the Makerspace tables.

Atrium Level 1, Otago Museum, 419 Great King Street, Dunedin

Monday 8 July to Friday 12 July, 10am – 5pm. FREE

Contact 03 474 7474

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