Matariki ahunga nui! Indeed the season of Matariki was a time for us to gather together and to celebrate and acknowledge many things. A time for remembrance and reflection, a time for reset and to plant new crops and ideas.
Matariki has also provided a new seasonal home for our Festival with the fourth annual TE ARA I WHITI. The lights shone as beautifully as they did bright and with works that placed our own response to the themes of Matariki inside an uplifting celebration of our community and the region of Te Tairāwhiti. On the banks of the Taruheru, Tūranga-nui-ā-Kiwa shone bright amidst changeable weather and cooler climates as the sounds of whānau out echoed across the riverbank. It was wonderful to see so many out enjoying, observing and interacting with the works and seeing what our artists have been working on across the last few months.
The Waikirikiri Mural Project brought bold, joyous colours and pūrakau to Waikirikiri park, while Te Pūtahi stage and programme was filled with the vibrancy of our local creative community.
Our Festival season closed with the Taiao Whānau Day held at Te Wherowhero Lagoon in collaboration with Rongowhakataa Iwi Trust. The sun shone down on people helping plant 5000 trees to restore the whenua and our connections to each other.
With this, our first Matariki season complete, we want to say a massive KIA ORA to everyone who made Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival possible. He mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa.
To all our artists, crew, volunteers, community groups, kura, galleries, partners, sponsors and supporters, he mihi aroha tēnei. Thank you for making this Matariki season a bountiful one, full of your creative energies, your hard work and your generosity. Ngā kai a Matariki, nāna i ao ake ki runga…
Lastly, thank you to everyone who attended – all 14,000 of you! If you visited Te Ara i Whiti and Te Pūtahi, registered for a workshop or wānanga, or visited a gallery – we felt the love and support of our local whānau and those that travelled to experience the abundant creative excellence our region has to offer.
From all of us here at Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival, thank you for making this season such a special one. We look forward to celebrating with you again next year! Mānawatia a Matariki!