8,000 celebrate Matariki in Arrowtown

Jun 29, 2024

The atmosphere in the centre of Arrowtown (Kā-Muriwai) was electric last night with the Matariki Arrowtown festivities.

Over 8000 people of all ages rugged up and enjoyed the third year of celebrations which spanned from Buckingham Green to Library Green. The crowd was a mix of Arrowtown and Queenstown locals and visitors from further afield including Christchurch, Auckland and Australia.

The event was made possible from over 220 students on stage, 14 performers, 18 specialists, and over 110 volunteers.

“It was truly a magical evening. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and also learnt something new about the cultural significance of Matariki,” said Watson & Wyatt Director Ann Wyatt.

“We’re thrilled with the feedback received so far. We worked hard to strike the right balance between providing entertainment and education around this important date in the Māori calendar. We also spread things out more so people would have the space and opportunity to take everything in at their own pace and in their own style,” she said.

The event line-up included local artists, exhibitions, and specialists, and a range of entertainers including Kathleen Brentwood, Milly B, Freefall, school kapa haka groups, and astronomer Gemma Cribb. The Athenaeum Hall, Lakes District Museum, Arrowtown Library, and the Ray White showroom were also open this year for indoor activities and installations.

Silo’s light installations were back this year adding to the magic of the event with the projection on the Museum and soundscape mesmerising the crowd.

“I loved seeing family groups enjoying the new space at Library Green, writing their wishes for next year and taking a deep breath and putting them in the brazier. Watching a little boy hold a photo of his whānau, give it a kiss and put it on the family tree was a special moment and summed up this Matariki event for me,” said Ann.

The event committee thanks everyone who has helped support this event, from the sponsors to the volunteers, to the Matariki specialists and the performers, and those who braved the wintery weather to join the celebrations.

For those wishing to give feedback on this year’s Matariki Arrowtown Kā-Muriwai event, a survey is currently open for the next two weeks at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/G8L9FPJ. Feedback gathered will help with future Matariki Arrowtown Kā-Muriwai events.

All images: credit Leigh Jeffery


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