Hui Ngātahi: Coming Together for Matariki

We have to wait until next year for the new Matariki public holiday. But that shouldn’t stop anyone on the Shore from celebrating Matariki this year, as Mairangi Arts Centre and its community partners are teaming up to mark 2021 Aucklan's Matariki Festival with a major event on the Shore.

Hui Ngātahi: Coming Together is a special exhibition, supported by Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, for which Mairangi Arts Centre (MAC) has partnered with non-profit organisations to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future during Matariki. It’s a whanau-friendly exhibition in which aims to bring the extended community together for kōrero (sharing stories), and to enjoy delicious kai (food).

Mairangi Arts Centre invited its partnering organisations to address the three themes of Matariki:

  • Reflect on the past, your history, and your partnership with Mairangi Arts Centre
  • Celebrate the present: What are you grateful for? What do you celebrate within your organisation?
  • Plan for the future: What is your dream for the Matariki New Year?

The exhibition also recognises MAC's 30th anniversary, by reengaging founding and life time members and bringing them together to share their stories of MAC's early days. The preparations for MAC's inception began a long time before it opening in 1991. As far back as 1981, dedicated voluntees established a group who shared a common vision to see an arts centre built in the East Coast Bays. With no building to execute their plans, a Trust Board was formed to consolidate support for the centre. This included building plans, rallying support from the East Coast Bays district and fundraising $25,000 from the community fairs held every fortnight. With thsi money, the Council was parpared to take the idea seriously and provide the Trust with the old Soccor Club headquarters. Whilst this space had potential, it was derelict, and in a state of disrepair by the time it came into the hands of volunteers.

This hard-working group of volunteers worked tirelessly alongside their day jobs: cleaning, painting, sewing hessian for the walls, searching for furniture and fittings to actualise their vision and build the Centre from the ground up. In May 1991, the Mairangi Arts Centre held its first exhibition and has grown and thrived ever since.

Hui Ngātahi: Coming Together practises Matariki tradition in its truest sense, as a time for our extended community to come together and honour our past, celebrate the present and imagine our future together, says Clint Taniguchi, general manager of MAC.  “Hui Ngātahi also offers an opportunity to create introductions and connections between participating organisations such as Yeon Hyang Hoe (Oriental  Brush Calligraphy Society and Te Herenga Waka o Orewa marae, he adds, as well as building awareness and creating access to our partnering organsations' artworks, collections, creative services and projects.”

The partnering organisations include local marae, Te Herenga Waka o Orewa, Yeon Hyang Hoe (Oriental Brush Calligraphy Group), Wairau Valley Special Transition Centre, Whangaparaoa College, North Shore Salon of Photography and For the Love of Bees.

“Above all,” adds MAC Trust chairperson Chris Cooper, “It allows the whole community to participate in the Matariki Festival that is taking place throughout Auckland” – without leaving the Shore

What: Hui Ngātahi: Coming Together

Where: Mairangi Arts Centre

Exhibition dates: 26th June – 18th July