Matariki Celebrations 2022

Presented by: Kahu Youth Trust

Where: Dinosaur Park and Roys Bay Reserve

When: SAT 25 June, 2pm – 6:30pm

Kapa haka & activities 2pm – 5pm 

Māori history and legends from 5pm

Hangi from 5pm

Fireworks 6:30pm

We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our community together to connect and celebrate Matariki, the Māori New Year!!

Te Kāhui o Matariki is a cluster of stars that rises in mid-winter, marking the start of the Māori New Year. The New Year celebrations provide an opportunity for whanau and communities to come together to reflect on the year that has been and refresh, reset and rise for the year ahead.

This year’s celebration is a great whānau event and is sure to warm a cold winter’s night! Spectators will be able to enjoy whakangahau(performances), hangi and fun, free activities that represent Te Kāhui o Matariki (star cluster). 


An important part of Matariki is coming together and sharing kai. The hangi will be served from 5:00pm and will feed over 800 people! Hangi single serve $5, whānau serve $10 with proceeds going to support Kahu Youth Trust provide safe, fun youth development programmes for youth of the Upper Clutha.

Te Kāhui o Matariki

The nine stars of the Te Kāhui o Matariki cluster each represent a different natural living system. Kahu Youth Trust has collaborated with local environmental groups, Grow Wanaka, Te Kakano, WAI Wānaka, and WAO, to create fun activities for tamariki and rangatahi to participate in, to teach them the meaning of each star and enrich their experience of Matariki. Tamariki and rangatahi can get their ‘star map’ at the Kahu Youth Trust marquee and will receive a stamp at each activity as they journey across the Te Kāhui o Matariki star cluster. Activities will be open for tamariki and rangatahi from 2pm – 5pm.


The community stage will celebrate Māori culture with captivating kapa haka performances from local schools and community groups as well as enriching local Māori history and legends (purakau) as told by Darren Rewi. As the sun sets, fire dancers will memorize crowds with the twirling of flames along the lakes edge. Spectacular fireworks over Lake Wānaka conclude the Matariki celebrations at 6:30pm. 

Community Kapa Haka Arrival Time
M!NT Dance Crew2:00pm
Aspiring Beginnings2:15pm
Little Wonders/ Riverside2:30pm
Kanuka Corner/ Hawea Kindy2:45pm
Holy Family3:00pm
Wānaka Primary 3:15pm
Hawea Flat School3:30pm
Te Kura o Take Karara3:45pm
MAC Kapa Haka4:00pm
Wānaka Ukulele4:15pm

As always, Kahu Youth Trust is incredibly grateful for all the help and generosity we are receiving from the community towards this community event. A HUGE thanks to the following supporters: Queenstown Lakes District Council, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Alpine Pastures, Base NZ, Central Machine Hire, Creative NZ, Entertainment Solutions, Grow Wānaka, HireKing, Hirepool, Hireworx, Med Market, Mitre10 MEGA Wanaka, Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust, Upper Clutha Messenger, WAI Wānaka, WAO, Wānaka App, Wānaka Party Hire, Wānaka Wastebusters.

Kahu Youth’s Annual Events

We love events, and we know you do too! There’s nothing better than getting the community together so that you, your friends and whanau can have a good time.

Kahu Youth Trust’s programme of events includes our now famous Matariki celebration at the lakefront each year.

Five such events are outlined below. Check them out …

Matariki – an annual highlight for Wānaka

A proud accomplishment for Kahu Youth, even with the uncertainty brought on by changing alert levels in 2021, we delivered our our flagship event Matariki. In 2021, Matariki was held in July and saw approximately 2000 people from the community attend and participate in the celebration. This is a major and annual event, and each year the majority of the volunteers and performers that bring this event to life, are our local youth.

The great Cardboard Boat Race

For many years, Kahu Youth has run the annual Cardboard Boat Race. As the name suggests, it’s a boat race – but if your boat is not made out of cardboard, you get disqualified. Each year we see more and more inventive entries and some fabulous (and eventually wet) costumes on, and then in, the lake. A great fun, family day out.

Takin’ over Amigos

Amigos Restaurant kindly allows Kahu Youth Trust to “take over” the front of house, running the restaurant for a few nights, and serving members of the general public. This is a great experience for all youth involved, and is also an important fundraising activity in our annual calendar.

Youth Volunteer Awards

Each year, we host our annual Youth Volunteer Awards. This is a for-youth, by-youth celebration of all the positive things our local young people do in the community. It is a great way for youth to recognised the great work they do and to appreciate each other. It is a very rewarding event.

Upper Clutha A&P Show

The annual A&P show is undoubtedly a highlight on many calendars in the Upper Clutha. Each year, Kahu Youth Trust is present at the event to connect with the local community, raise awareness of our programmes and services, and talk with the young people at the show.