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Matariki Mahuika

Ticket Information

  • Free Admission


  • Sat 29 Jun 2024, 5:00pm


All Ages

Listed by

Neill Gordon

Matariki Mahuika is a people-powered Matariki project that involves setting fire to the entire coastline of Aoetaroa New Zealand.
We did it last year in Te Matau-a-Māui Hawke's Bay and now we're inviting the rest of New Zealand to join in.

Matariki Mahuika Lights up Aotearoa
Kahungunu shares the warmth of their fire

In a nutshell: DIY fires at the beach

Free nationwide community event
Gather all people together for Matariki
Beach fires to celebrate all New Zealanders' connection to place and each other
A revival of traditional storytelling around the fire
Saturday June 29 2024

The lighting of beach fires to mark Matariki is a tradition launched in Te Matau-a-Māui Hawke's Bay in 2023 and now spreading across Aotearoa. Matariki Mahuika will always be the Saturday of the long Matariki weekend - June 29 in 2024.

In July last year, Ngāti Kahungunu invited people to head to the Hawke’s Bay beaches and light a fire using the driftwood left on the shore by Cyclone Gabrielle. Although publicity began only 12 days before the event, on the night 25,000 people turned up and lit up the coast from Cape
Kidnappers to Mahia - 200 kilometres of fires.

And not only did people turn up, they embraced the kaupapa of manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, whanaungatanga and rangatiratanga and did what they’d been asked to do: “take your mates, your mokos, your marshmallows, look after the beach, look after your fire, welcome people in and talk to strangers”.

Matariki Mahuika is a DIY event. The lighting of and looking after the fires is up to individuals and whanau. Basically, you pick your favourite spot at the beach, head there and do your thing. We'll all be there doing our own thing and also part of something larger.

Safety for everyone and care for the environment is key, which is why doing it in winter, when the fire risk is generally zero. We love the beach, the creatures that live there and the natural environment. We not only look after each other, we aim to leave the beach in a better state than we find it.
Some parts of the coast - where there might be nesting birds, seals or other wildlife for example - require special care. We ask people not to take materials to the beach to burn, but to choose a suitable spot where driftwood is available.

Not everywhere around Aotearoa will be suitable – because of factors including weather conditions on the day. Respect for official advice, local knowledge and local conditions is sensible whenever you're lighting a fire.

Register at to receive information including safety advice.
As far as fire safety goes, the best advice is Fire and Emergency NZ's
Share the warmth

Ngā mihi
Te Rangi Huata and Neill Gordon

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