Hundreds celebrate Matariki in Dunedin

A group performed at Otago Museum as part of Matariki celebrations. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
A group performed at Otago Museum as part of Matariki celebrations. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
Antonia Wood enjoys the early-morning event.
Antonia Wood enjoys the early-morning event.
Images of loved ones who have died were shown at Otago Museum.
Images of loved ones who have died were shown at Otago Museum.
People gathered for a community breakfast at Tūhura Otago Museum.
People gathered for a community breakfast at the musuem.
James (3) and Billie (6) Holmquist watch a large screen at the musuem.
James (3) and Billie (6) Holmquist watch a large screen at the musuem.
Allison Booth captures the event.
Allison Booth captures the event.

Hundreds of people gathered before dawn in Dunedin to celebrate Matariki and to pay tribute to loved ones who died in the past year.

Images that people had been invited to send in were screened on a wall this morning by the entrance to the Otago Museum.

Among them was one of Christina Noble, who died in March, and her brother Simon Noble described the assembly and display at the museum as poignant.

Matariki signals the start of the Maori New Year and is considered a time of renewal and celebration that begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster.

It is being marked by a public holiday today, for the first time.

The Matariki sunrise from Second Beach; with moon and four of the five visible planets. Photo:...
The Matariki sunrise from Second Beach; with moon and four of the five visible planets. Photo: Andrew Clark
Mr Noble, of Dunedin, said it was an important piece of nation-building infrastructure.

The ceremony, which took place on a frosty Ōtepoti morning, included a time for people to call out the names of loved ones who had died.

Debbie Bishop attended the Matariki celebrations this morning. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Debbie Bishop attended the Matariki celebrations this morning. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

Edward Ellison spoke at the event. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Edward Ellison spoke at the event. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

Debbie Bishop, of Dunedin, was one person who did so, calling out the name of her husband, Prof Phil Bishop, who died in January last year.

"For me, it's a new beginning," Mrs Bishop said.

The gathering shifted inside the museum, where there was coffee, kai, waiata and speeches.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said it was a privilege to stand together on the occasion, at the same time as acknowledging "generations of people who went before us".

Mr Hawkins said it had been humbling to see growth and depth of understanding about Matariki develop.

Otakou kaumatua Edward Ellison said it was a time of celebration, feasting, reflection and the sharing of stories.

A large crowd is expected at the Otago Harbour this evening for a light show, titled "Mana Moana: Ōtepoti".

A journey reflecting the connections of Dunedin to the wider Moananui-a-Kiwa (Pacific Ocean) will be projected on to a water screen in the Steamer Basin between 5.30pm and 8.30pm over the next three nights.

The crowd at Matariki celebrations at Tūhura Otago Museum reserve this morning. PHOTO: PETER...
The crowd at Matariki celebrations at Tūhura Otago Museum reserve this morning. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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