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News from NZ Māori Tourism and Māori tourism experiences around Aotearoa New Zealand

Innovative twist brings Tāmaki Makaurau iwi heritage to the stage with millions of water droplets

An artistic and innovative twist to digital storytelling – in the form of a water screen – will take place on the Waitematā Harbour at the Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival later this month.

In an exciting new feature for the festival, stories honouring the Māori heritage of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland will be projected onto millions of water droplets propelled into the air, creating an illusion of images floating on water.

The content will pay homage to the waka that carried Māori ancestors across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean, to arrive in Aotearoa and Tāmaki Makaurau. It will also celebrate te reo Māori, the joining of two worlds, and music.

The display will accompany the performances that will take place on a barge moored against Queens Wharf on Auckland’s waterfront.

The arrival of waka will kick off the new water element of the festival at 9pm. From 6pm – 9pm, performances will take place on a land-based stage.

Musical talent will also be a main drawcard of Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival on Friday 31 January with Māori artists Maisey Rika, Louis Baker and 7-piece reggae band Tomorrow People as the headline acts.

Rounding off the musical line-up is prolific songwriter Seth Haapu and his brother Caleb Haapu from Sons of Zion, Modern Māori Quartet, Brotherhood Musiq and Hinera O’Rourke and Caleb Kingi.

Rika’s soulful vocals and te reo anthems will bring a close to the festival from 10.30pm to 11pm, alongside a powerful Kapa Haka performance by Ngā Tumanako, the winning group from Te Matatini 2019.

Throughout the evening, festival-goers can also entertain themselves with traditional Māori games and temporary ta moko tattoos, or be inspired by the artistic talent on display. Highlights include Pou Rama, a lighting installation which is inspired by pouwhenua (Māori carved pillars), and a beautiful collection of garments from award winning designer Shona Tawhiao.

Just like any great event, food will also take centre stage. Hungry festival-goers will be treated to a true taste of Aotearoa by visiting kai neighbourhoods in the marketplace, which will celebrate Māori kai and ingredients.

Vector Lights will illuminate the Auckland Harbour Bridge as part of the festival celebrations.

Hosted by the 19 iwi of Tāmaki Makaurau, in partnership with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), the rejuvenated Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival will take place on Captain Cook Wharf along Auckland’s waterfront.

Gates will open at 5.30pm with the first performance scheduled for 6pm. The event ends at 11pm.

ATEED General Manager– Destination, Steve Armitage, says that the festival provides an important opportunity for Auckland to celebrate its Māori identity.

“I encourage everyone to come along and immerse yourselves in Māori history and culture, partake in unique experiences, and ultimately enjoy this special event.”

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