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Songs, haka and hangi all part of peninsula celebrations as the Matariki season begins

Flagstaff Team

Haere mai… (from left) Restoring Takarunga Hauraki coordinator Lance Cablk, Depot Sound’s Noah Page, administrator and kaitohutohu at the Depot Terehia Walker and volunteers Alfie Murray and Renee Price prepare for the serving of hangi at a Matariki event at the North Shore United Football Club last week.

The Devonport peninsula is getting into the swing of Matariki, with community events kicking off at the beginning of the month and more to come before and after the public holiday on Friday June 28.
One of the biggest will be the Bayswater School Matariki Festival on Saturday 22 June, which runs from 3pm until late.
Art, music and film events are also on offer, with carving and weaving workshops at galleries and children’s activities at the library, Navy Museum and Community House.
About 80 people welcomed the start of the Matariki season with an evening gathering at the Devonport band rotunda on Saturday 1 June.
Karakia and a community kapa haka group featured, and representatives of community organisations outlined the activities they have planned.
Devonport resident and Navy marae manager Ngahiwi Walker explained the meaning of the major New Year event on the Maori calendar.
As darkness descended, stars strung along the rotunda were lit up, delighting youngsters in the audience.
Shops in Devonport are decorated with star lights, supplied by the Devonport Business Association, which is also running a children’s colouring competition with entry forms in cafes and restaurants this month.
Three days after the rotunda event, groups based at the Ngau-te-ringaringa community hub at 27 Lake Rd hosted more than 100 people, first at Restoring Takarunga Hauraki’s nursery and then for a hangi at North Shore United’s clubrooms. Ngataringa Community Gardens was also involved.
A planned hikoi up Takarunga on Sunday evening was called off due to a bad weather. More than 100 people took part in a hangi at the Community House, with around 200 gathering earlier for school kapa haka from Stanley Bay, Devonport and Belmont Primary Schools and lantern making. Musical performances rounded out the evening.
After a fortnight’s lull, the programme resumes over 22-23 June, with that and the following weekend including child-focused activities.
Next month, the Rose Centre in Belmont has set aside Saturday 7 July for day-time events, including a midday hangi and a movie.
The Depot Art Space is hosting an exhibition and workshops, as is the Lake House arts centre in Takapuna.
A leaftlet detailing all 18 local Matariki events is available at the Devonport Library, the Depot and the Community House.

Staying warm… Devonport six-year-olds (from left) Joni Robinison, Claire Wall and Penelope Christie, were among the locals who donned their warmest jackets for the first Matariki event at the band rotunda on 1 June

Star performers… Te Hau Kapua Kapa Haka Ropu, Devonport’s community kapa haka group, performing a waiata on the Devonport band rotunda

Jan Mason and Catherine Ross, who ran a harakeke weaving workshop at the Restoring Takarunga Hauraki plant nursery ahead of the hangi at North Shore United clubrooms, have recently started their own weaving group based in Bayswater.

Devonport residents (from left) Karan Sedelmayr and Elizabeth Anderson were among those sharing kai, as were mother and daughter Betty and Jicca Smith.

Above left: Kelly Buckingham enjoying lantern making at the Community House, where more than 90 were created.
Above right: Saffron and Arabella Thompson with their lanterns and parents Florence and Peter, at what was the family’s first Matariki celebration.

Striking a chord… Te Hau Kapua Kapa Haka Ropu, with New Zealand Navy cultural adviser Ngahiwi Walker on guitar, performed before the Matariki hangi was served at the North Shore United clubrooms.

Tucking in at a hangi held at the Devonport Community House last Sunday were (from left front clockwise: Heidi and Aila Ibbotson, Ryan Murray, son Declan, Oskar Ibbotson, Tabatha Murray and daughter Violet, and Leti Crawford.

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