Matariki 2023

Each year Christchurch City Libraries celebrates a different set of stars from the star cluster of Matariki. This year, 2023, we are celebrating again Te Kātao a Matariki – the Water Stars of Matariki. Also, as some tribal areas say Puaka (Puanga) – Rigel is the star that brings the New Year as it always rises before Matariki we are acknowledging both traditions.

Matariki marks the beginning of the Aotearoa/Pacific New Year according to the lunar calendar. In 2023, the stars set on 13 Haratua / May, and rise 10 to 13 Takuru / July. The public holiday of Matariki is on Friday 14 July in 2023. Tūranga is open on the Matariki public holiday from 10am to 5pm. Foundation Cafe is open from 8.30am to 4pm. All our other libraries are closed. 

Here's what's on at libraries, and around Ōtautahi.

Matariki with Christchurch City Libraries

Matariki Ngā Pakiwaitara - Matariki Bilingual Storytimes
Tuesday 6, 13, 20, and 27 June; 10.30 to 11am

Come along and listen to children's bilingual storytimes. Nau mai, tauti mai. Ngā Pakiwaitara - Bilingual Storytimes is an interactive programme including stories and cool Māori waiata/songs. This bilingual storytimes runs every Tuesday from 10.30am to 11am.
Wāhi Whānau | Family Place, Hapori | Community, Level 1
Free, no bookings required
View events in our calendar

Matariki Wā Kōrero-Storytimes
Various libraries and times, as well as Westfield Riccarton (5 July) and Riverside Market (10 July).

Celebrate Matariki with Christchurch City Libraries! Meet others in our community when you and your preschooler join us for a fun variety of Matariki-themed stories, songs and rhymes which foster children’s literacy while celebrating our Māori New Year. All whānau and caregivers welcome.
View events in our calendar

Matariki Afterschool Activity Zone
Various libraries and times

Join us to celebrate Matariki by designing and making origami star boxes and/or an origami star.

Free - drop in session.
View events in our calendar

Te Rā i Whiti Exhibition
Wednesday 5 July to Sunday 9 July

Christchurch City Libraries are excited to be hosting a mini exhibition of contemporary Māori Art from TOIHOUKURA – School of Māori Art and Design, opens a new window based in Gisborne.

Led by Tā/Sir Derek Lardelli, professor at Toihoukura, Te Rā i Whiti exhibition features small works his students have created to tautoko/support the homecoming of the traditional woven harakeke/NZ flax sail Te Rā which will go on display at Te Puna Waiwhetū | Christchurch Art Gallery, opens a new window.

Matariki Takiura, Matariki Wānaka - Whānau Day
Saturday 17 June 10am to 2.30pm

All day fun - something for everyone! Wā Whānau | Family time 10am to 12.30pm will feature storytimes with Loopy Tunes, crafts, games and other activities. Hangarau Taiohi | Youth Tech 12.30 to 2.30pm featuring various technology including OZMOs, cameo cutter, robots - Alpha & Omega and featuring DJ Danny-ill.

Find out more

Matariki Dune Planting FULLY BOOKED
Sunday 9 July 10am to 12pm
New Brighton Library

Bring your whole whānau along to better the local environment at New Brighton. Meet in the library for a cup of tea and a kōrero with Ranger Jason before heading out to plant. Please bring your own gloves. All other equipment will be provided. All welcome. Children will need to be accompanied by an adult. Fully booked, but you can join the waitlist.

Find out more

Matariki in Ōtautahi

Search the Christchurch City Council What's On for Matariki events, including:

Matariki ki Rehua - Whānau Day at Rehua Marae
Saturday 25 June 11am to 2pm
Springfield Road, St Albans

Bring the whānau along for a fun filled day of craft stalls, workshops, food stalls, hangi, and kapa haka. Our Māori Library Services team will be there too with Matariki stories, waiata/songs, craft and fun. Free, all welcome. Nau mai, tauti mai.

Find out more

Matariki at Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre
7 June to 6 July

Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre invites you to celebrate Matariki 2023 with us as they partner with some incredible artists exploring whakatere waka (navigation) through ngā toi (the arts). Gather your whānau and friends to enjoy a range of events to mark the occasion featuring a Kapa Haka Showcase, a screening of the movie Waru, art, craft and weaving classes, star-gazing at the Observatory and much more.

Matariki in the Zone
Saturday 15 July 2.30pm
Richmond Community Garden

Avebury House, Richmond Community Garden and Avon-Ōtākaro Network host an accessible, welcoming, winter event highlighting the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor. Mark Matariki and aspects of Māori tradition with food, music, activities and a week-long trail lighting display.
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Tīrama Mai
Victoria Square and surrounding areas

Tīrama Mai, meaning to illuminate or bring light, celebrates Matariki, our people and our unique local landscape. Christchurch’s Cathedral Square and surrounding areas will be transformed with a series of innovative lighting installations, projections and illuminated artworks created by some of Canterbury's best lighting artists and creative minds. Tīrama Mai is proudly produced by Christchurch City Council.

More about Matariki