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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:29am

Music and story will be at the heart of Matariki celebrations in Selwyn.

Matariki is the traditional Māori new year celebration, observed in June. It is a time for whānau to come together, to remember those who have passed away in the last year and to celebrate the dawn of a new mahinga kai (food and natural resource) season. With the kūmara recently harvested it was also a time of feasting, celebrating and wānanga (learning).

For Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, the local people of Taumutu, the kūmara harvest is even more significant as Taumutu is the southernmost point where kūmara was grown in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The highlight of this year’s Matariki celebrations, organised by the Council, will be a concert with the Modern Māori Quartet (MMQ) on Saturday 15 June. The quartet bring a modern take on a long history of Māori showbands, mixing acting, pop music and traditional waiata with a good dose of tongue-in-cheek Māori humour, charm and charisma to tell Kiwi stories in a unique way.

MMQ will be preceded by up and coming local bands with ties to Te Taumutu Rūnanga.

Over the month there will also be story times, weaving workshops and other crafts at the Selwyn Libraries, along with an evening talk on the Secret Life of the Stars at Lincoln Event Centre.

An astrophotography exhibition will be hosted at West Melton Community and Recreation Centre, with photos of the night sky taken by the members of the Canterbury Astronomical Society.

The concert with the Modern Māori Quartet will be held at the Lincoln Event Centre, 7–9pm, Saturday 15 June. Tickets $30 per person, book at

A full list of Matariki activities in Selwyn, or pick up a brochure from your local Selwyn library or community centre.

The four members of the Modern Maori Quartet laughing, two members playing guitars in front of a piano and two members behind laughing