Vector Lights for Matariki Festival 2021

Vector Lights
The rising of the Matariki star cluster heralds the beginning of the Māori new year. It is during this time that people acknowledge those who have passed on, spend time with their families and prepare for the year ahead.

Featuring a brand-new light show for 2021, Vector Lights for Matariki Festival tells the story of the festival’s iwi manaaki (host iwi), Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and their migration to Tāmaki Makaurau. The lightshow portrays the pepeha (tribal lineage) origins of the iwi, who travelled from the islands in a waka hourua (double hulled canoe) and made landfall in Aotearoa. Watch the Ngati Whatua Orakei Pepeha video here.

Vector Lights for Matariki Festival audio narrative translated into English

What was the wind that was roaring and rumbling?
It was a northerly wind that exposed the nautilus shell.
And in my dreams, I saw that I would fetch the wind from the North to support my people of the Waitematā.

The black hawk of my ancestors soars upon the domain of the Wind God, Tāwhirimātea.
The dawn’s divine rays of colour cast their glow upon my ancestral vessel, Māhuhu-ki-te-rangi.
I reflect upon and recall the bountiful lands where the vessel bow has rested.

The glistening waters of the Waitematā crash upon the shores where the bountiful riches of Tangaroa are displayed.
There stands Tāmaki in all its greatness where the fish are so succulent, its bones and skin are an equal appetizer.
My gaze turns to the carved terraces of Titahi there at the pinnacle of my sacred mountain Maungakiekie.

The renown bastion of my ancestor Tuperiri.
The sacred black hawk turns toward the remnants of our great families Te Taoū, Te Uringutu and Ngā Oho.
I return to my sanctuary of Ōrākei where my ancestral houses Te Puru o Tāmaki and Tumutumuwhenua stand.

We, the descendants of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei who will never surrender or be cast asunder.
This is the manifestation of my ancestral dreams and desires.
The haven of their many descendants.

Here we stand the chips of the totara tree of former days.
Basking in the glory of those who have gone before us.
Ripened like the berries of the Kawariki tree.

What you need to know:

Starting from Saturday 19 June and each weekend until Sunday 11 July, Vector Lights on the Auckland Harbour Bridge will shine in celebration of Matariki Festival with accompanying audio.  The show runs for 5 minutes and plays every half hour from 6pm – midnight.

  • The Matariki light and sound show will play from 19th to 20th and 25th to 27th June and 2nd to 3rd and 9th to 11th July.
  • The show will repeat every half hour between 6pm and midnight.
  • If you’re watching a show live, make sure you listen to the synced audio that goes with the show. A ‘listen live’ button will appear on 30 minutes before each show.
  • The show will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page, so you can watch at home. Visit us at
  • Share your experience on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with #vectorlights
Vector Lights is part of a smart energy partnership between Vector and Auckland Council in collaboration with the Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency, the guiding light toward a smart energy future. For more information, and to listen to the soundtrack, visit  

To find out more about Matariki Festival’s full programme of events go to

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