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Matariki  Mahuika Beach Fires

Ticket Information

  • Free Admission

Dates

  • Sat 21 Jun 2025, 5:00pm–10:00pm

Restrictions

All Ages

Listed by

Neill Gordon

Matariki Mahuika is a people-powered Matariki project that involves welcoming people to share the warmth of their fire on beaches right around Aoetaroa New Zealand.
A tradition that began in Te Matau-a-Māui Hawke's Bay in 2023, this DIY celebration has seen many thousands of people answer the call to "take your mates, your mokos, your marshmallows" and head to the beaches to celebrate Matariki.
For 2025, organisers Te Rangi Huata and Neill Gordon aim to boost one of the aspects that underpins the event, a revival of traditional storytelling around the 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 21 2025

In July 2023, 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 matchfitnz@gmail.com to receive information including safety advice.
For safety advice see Fire and Emergency NZ's https://www.checkitsalright.nz/reduce-your-risk

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