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Matariki - Embracing a New Holiday for all New Zealanders


Sat 3 Jul 2021, 6:30pm–9:30pm

Where: Wainuiomata Recreation Area, Whitcher Grove, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region

Restrictions: All Ages

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  • General Admission: Free ($0.00)
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Listed by: GW Regional Council

Ever wondered what the stars in the night sky look like up close? Come along on the 3 July and enjoy the dark skies of Wainuiomata Rec Area.

It's a unique chance to explore our Southern Skies through powerful optical telescopes with Wellington Astronomical Society guiding you through the journey.
Light pollution in the city washes out our view of the space, and only the brightest stars pierce the glow. Wainuiomata Recreational Area might be one of the most peaceful spots in the region, yet it has one of the busiest dark skies in the universe, making it a perfect location for stargazing.
Start the night off listening to Dr. Pauline Harris from Victoria University. After that The Wellington Astronomical Society will be on hand to provide telescopes and help explain what you can see hanging out in the night sky.
Matariki-Puanga has become a national holiday in Aotearoa-New Zealand and is due to start next year in 2022 during the Tangaroa nights in the month of Pipiri. This is on the Gregorian date of the 24th of June, 2022. Matariki and Puanga are stars that are an important part of a larger Māori calendar system called the maramataka, which is based on the position of the sun, stars, phases of the moon aswell as environmental and ecological indicators. The development of knowledge surrounding Matariki, Puanga and maramataka over the past 30 years has seen both Māori and non-Māori communities embrace the important times associated with these stars. In this talk I will discuss the revitalisation of Matariki, Puanga and the maramataka, the practices and cultural understandings of these and other stars and how all New Zealanders can embrace this time together as family.
Details of the event:

• Please arrive at 6.30pm

• A bus will leave promptly from the main gates to ferry everyone to the viewing area in Wainuiomata Recreation Area

• Location – Wainuiomata Recreation Area, 10 Witcher Grove, Wainuiomata

• This is a family friendly event

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