Matariki Festival 2018

Matariki, the Māori New Year, is recognised by the rising of a cluster of stars known as the Pleiades that appear in mid-winter. The Matariki Festival is a celebration of friendship, collaboration, arts and harvest – and a time to celebrate the abundance of culture and talent in New Zealand.

Invercargill’s Matariki Festival runs in Esk Street from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, 7 July 2018. There will be plenty of performances  throughout the day including kapa haka groups, local singers, workshops (carving, weaving, poi making) and a Dark Skies exhibition. There’s also a vibrant outdoor market and a Stardome so you can experience the stars and the story of Matariki first hand. We will also have food trucks, face painting and more.

All activities are free and open to the public.


10.30am: Stacey Wilde and Tom van Eeden
11.30am: Southland Youth Jazz Band
Noon: Kapa Haka performance by Salford School, Invercargill
12.30pm: Kapa Haka performance by St Theresa’s School, Invercargill
1pm: Gabriel Lal and Ryan Isaacs
2pm: Holly Muirhead and Amber Niven
3pm: Lady Friday
4pm: Tongan Drummers


Matariki Market, 10am to 4pm
Food trucks, 10am to 4pm
Shopping at local retailers
Dark Skies Photo Competition Exhibit, 62 Esk St (former ASB building)


Ticketed* Workshop: Tipare (headband), Cambridge Arcade, 10.30am to 11.30am and 11.30am to 12.30pm
Drop-in Workshop: Poi Making, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm
Drop-in Workshop: Weaving, 10.30am to noon and 1pm to 4pm

Carving demonstrations by Oti Murray and Tahu Parkinson throughout the day
Stardome, 11am -4pm, ticketed* sessions running every half an hour in the old ASB building
Photo Booth from The Hits 98.8 at the old ASB Building on Esk Street

*Tickets for ticketed sessions can be collected from the old ASB building.

Tawhirimatea’s Eyes

Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.

Many local children have  made Tawhirimatea’s Eyes and these are being displayed in shops throughout the city centre. Make sure you see some of the wonderful art work!

  • Learn more about Matariki by visiting this section of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage website.