Matariki holiday light show planned

Dunedin will celebrate the first official Matariki holiday with a multi-day light show.

A city council spokeswoman said the "Mana Moana: Otepoti" water and light show would take place from June 24 to 26 on the Otago Harbour waterfront.

The free event would bring together the work of Maori and Pasifika artists through images, short film, poems, dance and more, which would be projected on to a water screen.

The screen projected images on to water which was sprayed into the air, which created the illusion of the images appearing out of thin air, she said.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said it would be an opportunity for the Dunedin community and visitors to come together and celebrate the season.

"It’s an exciting time to now be celebrating Matariki as a national holiday."

Showing off a concept of what the new Matariki light show at the Otago Harbour waterfront might...
Showing off a concept of what the new Matariki light show at the Otago Harbour waterfront might look like are Dunedin City Council Maori, partnerships and policy general manager Jeanette Wikaira and events team leader Dan Hendra. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
It was the first holiday to acknowledge te ao Maori (the Maori world view) and share in a tradition that would help shape New Zealand’s future identity.

The event would be produced by Wellington-based production studio Storybox, the spokeswoman said.

The show would run on a recurring 30-minute loop between 5.30pm and 8.30pm over the three nights, which would allow plenty of opportunities for people to enjoy the spectacle.

A night food market was also planned to complement the festivities.

Maori, partnerships and policy general manager Jeanette Wikaira said funding for the event was through existing budgets within community development, events and Enterprise Dunedin.

The production cost was about $80,000.

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