Vector Lights for Matariki Festival 2018

Vector Lights
The first Matariki light show, presents the story of Te Kawerau a Maki and the importance of their role as kaitiaki - guardians of the land and the natural environment.  Vector Lights for Matariki will reflect this principle in the show.  

Ngā whetū o Matariki - The stars of Matariki
Matariki (Pleiades) signals the beginning of the Māori New Year. It is a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future. The 8th shining star on the bridge represents Pūanga, a significant star to Te Kawerau a Maki, which actually rises before the Matariki constellation.  

Taniwha/ Kaitiaki / Guides 
Taniwha are kaitiaki, they look after people and/or places. Paneiraira was a taniwha that guided the Tainui waka from Hawaikii to Aotearoa. Paneiraira beat the waves down to ensure safe passage for the Tainui waka. Taniwha take many forms such as stingray, sharks, whales and octopus to name a few. 

Tainui Waka arrives in Tāmaki Makaurau 
Te Kawerau a Maki are the northermost tribe of the Tainui waka. We are referred to as Te Kei o Te Waka, the stern of the canoe and Te kuaha o te Kaipara, the door of the Kaipara. When the Tainui waka arrived the red from the pohutukawa looked like Te kura a Tainihinihi, the red feathers from Hawaikii.  This is how we know the Tainui waka arrived in Sumer. 

Iwi and the whenua 
Te Kawerau a Maki have a wide area of customary interest.  It includes the southern Kaipara, Mahurangi, North Shore, Auckland Isthmus, and Hauraki Gulf islands such as Tiritiri Matangi.  The people travelled widely and built Pā in various sites around Auckland.  The main figure for Matariki 2018 is Kowhati ki te Uru who was a skilled builder of pā.  

Te Wao nui a Tiriwa – The Waitākere Ranges 
Te Kawerau ā Maki are particularly associated with West Auckland (formerly Waitākere City), which is known traditionally as Hikurangi. The Waitākere Ranges and the huge forest that once covered much of Hikurangi are known by the traditional name Te Wao nui a Tiriwa— the great forest of Tiriwa. The many peaks extending down the Waitākere Ranges from Muriwai to the Manukau Harbour entrance became known as Ngā Rau Pou a Maki, or the many posts of Maki. 

Kauri – Disappearing
Māori have had a connection with the kauri tree for centuries.  It is the rangatira of the forest.  Kauri are the central component of indigenous forest ecosystems. Due to kauri dieback the Kauri is threatened with extinction.  

Kauri – Regeneration
Due to the threat of kauri dieback, Te Kawerau a Maki have placed a rāhui on the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area. The ultimate goal of the rāhui is that, in time, the kauri will regenerate and the spread of the disease will reduce. If the kauri thrive so will the rest of the forest.  This includes plants and birds.

Ngā whetū o Matariki
Reflection, celebration and preparation 

Read more about Matariki Festival

All sound on the Vector Lights show has been performed by Te Warena Taua and Rikki Bennet using voice and traditional tāonga puoro. 
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