Victory Community Centre’s Ariana Ngaruhe with Scott Robertson and Rob Taylor preparing the hangi for tonight's Matariki celebrations at Victory. Photo: Kate Russell.

Change for Matariki celebration


It may not be taking its traditional path up the Railway Reserve, but tonight’s Matariki celebrations at Victory promise to honour its true meaning.

This year, lantern goers will have a shorter walk in the other direction to Victory Square due to roadworks near Beatson Rd.

Matariki marks the beginning of the Maori New Year, with the reappearance of the seven Matariki stars.

Organiser Ariana Ngaruhe from the Victory Community Centre says they will focus the journey on Waiti – the star that is connected to fresh water and all the creatures that live in rivers, streams and lakes.

“We will be following the stream that runs from the centre to St Vincent St where the drain opens up. That’s our stopping point.”

The celebrations kick off at the community centre today at 3.50pm with performances by Victory Primary School students, followed by hot soup in the carpark at 4:30pm.

The lantern walk to Victory Square starts at 4.40pm, where there will be art displays and fire dancers, before returning to the centre at 6pm for a hangi and more performances.

The event is waste-free, and attendees need to bring a reusable cup for the soup and their own water bottles.

The forecast tonight is looking to be cold and clear, so people are encouraged to rug up warmly.