Matariki Festival organisers Casey Anderson and Pania Lee, of Nelson City Council, with photos of essential workers that will be projected onto the side of Civic House. Photo: Andrew Board.

Matariki back with a bang


Lights, song and a spectacular fireworks display at Neale Park sponsored by Pomeroy’s will round off Nelson City Council’s Matariki Festival this Saturday.

Unique to this year’s festival is a tribute in the form of images of essential service workers and messages of thanks that will be beamed onto the side of Civic House in a light art display during the evening’s celebrations.

The entire event will be livestreamed on council’s Facebook page and YouTube channel – but for those attending in person, free buses to see the fireworks will be available to and from Akersten St before and after the display.

Volunteers from Coastguard Nelson will also be out collecting donations for their new vessel in the Akersten St area.

Mayor Rachel Reese says Matariki is a time to reflect on the past, acknowledge the present, and to look forward to the future.

“The past few months have been a challenging time for all of us and the determination, resilience and strength our community has shown has been incredible.”

Event details

Nelson City Council invites our community to join us in celebrating Matariki on Saturday 18 July 2020.

Proceedings will be live-streamed via Council’s Facebook page and Council’s YouTube channel starting at 6pm:

• Opening Karakia | Kaumātua

• Mayor’s Message | Mayor Rachel Reese

• Kapa Haka Performance | Te Kapa o Kura Tai Waka

• Light Art Projects

• Fireworks

The evening will then conclude with a fireworks display at 7pm, from Neale Park.

Fireworks viewing locations

The fireworks can be enjoyed either via livestream or from Guppy Park, North Road, Kinzett Terrace Carpark, Peace Grove, Akersten Street and the surrounding area. Please ensure you that you take care on the roads and when parking your vehicle.

Matariki free bus timetable

  • Route 1: 6.45pm – Two buses depart Nelson Depot to Akersten St for the fireworks display
  • Route 2: 7.20pm – Bus departs Akersten St > Tāhunanui > Stoke > Richmond
  • Route 3: 7.20pm – Bus departs Akersten St > Bishopdale > Stoke > Richmond

Taurapa Light Art Display

Maitai Walkway, Rutherford Park, Paru Paru Road, Nelson.

Date: Friday 17 July Time: 7:30pm-8:30pm

The Taurapa will be lit up on the Maitai River. Information from the artist Maia Hegglun will be shared about its creation, along with designs provided by local school children, based on the theme of migration to Whakatū.

Civic House Light Art Display

Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.

Date: Saturday 18 July Time: 5pm-9pm.

This year, we will have a light art projection on Civic House, which will include a special thanks to Nelson’s essential workers, Civil Defence staff and the community for their combined contributions during COVID-19 lockdown.

Health and safety

To ensure the continued health and safety of our community we encourage social distancing. This event will be guided by Government health and safety guidelines, and advice from the Nelson Marlborough Chief Medical Officer. Any changes to the event will be advised ahead of time.

We look forward to celebrating with you.