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Waikato Museum goes interstellar for Matariki

16 June 2021


Waikato Museum is set to host a full day of free Matariki celebrations on Saturday 19 June to coincide with the opening of a new family-friendly exhibition that explores the mysteries of the universe. 


Maiangi Waitai: Ātea-ā-Rangi—Interstellar re-imagines oral history traditions related to the Matariki constellation and explores empowerment, generosity, gratitude and protection of culture and the environment. In her latest project, New Zealand artist Maiangi Waitai creates a superhero figure for each star, complete with its own packaging, to offer a different perspective on the time of renewal that begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster.


Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham said this vibrant exhibition is a fun and educational experience for the whole whaanau, bursting with bright colours and cross-cultural characters. “I’m delighted we’re in a position to open this unique new exhibition on the same day as our exciting programme of interactive Matariki festivities,” she said. “From weaving workshops to craft sessions for tamariki, we will take visitors on a journey of celebration and discovery to signal the Maaori New Year. If there’s one place to celebrate Matariki this year, it’s here at Waikato Museum.”


An introspective and restorative slow movement breathing session set to the sounds of traditional Maaori instruments (taonga puuoro) will feature among the day-long activities this coming Saturday, along with kapa haka, interactive storytelling and a special live performance by Entertainment Suite’s Taiohi Manawataki.


The all-day Matariki event is supported by Te Ohu Whakaita Trust and will run from 10am to 4pm. Click here for the full programme of activities.


Maiangi Waitai: Ātea-ā-Rangi—Interstellar is toured by the Dowse Art Museum and runs at Waikato Museum until 29 August, daily from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free.


Details of the Matariki celebrations and all other exhibitions at Waikato Museum, including Marti Friedlander: Portraits of the Artists, 1981 and The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band – New Zealand bluegrass icons are available at 


Image: Maiangi Waitai: Ātea-ā-Rangi—Interstellar, 2019 at The Dowse Art Museum (install view). Photo: Shaun Mathews.



For more information:


Elias Koronis, Communications Advisor

07 838 6606 |