Locals had stars in their eyes at Matariki celebration

  • Published Date 01 Jul 2019

Credit: CGBS Photo, https://www.facebook.com/carlos.photocage

Star lovers got to see the night sky up close at the weekend in celebration of Matariki, the Maori New Year.

Greater Wellington Regional Council, along with Wellington Astronomical Society volunteers hosted the ‘Night Skies’ event in the Wainuiomata Recreation Area on Saturday.

Greater Wellington Park Ranger for Wainuiomata/Orongorongo Ricky Clarkson says the event was a great success.

"Over 100 people turned up on the night, many of which had never been to the recreation area before.

"It was a really diverse group of people in terms of age and ethnicities. We had people from Wellington, Wainui, Lower Hutt and Porirua," Ricky says.

The Astronomical Society volunteers brought along telescopes and attendees saw the Rings of Saturn, the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, and even a shooting star.

"This is the first time we have run this event so it was awesome that it was fully booked out. We're looking at making this an annual thing."

Greater Wellington parks portfolio lead Prue Lamason says this event was a great opportunity for the community to both celebrate Matariki, and get to know one of our local parks.

"Matariki is the Maori name for a group of seven stars - often referred to as the Seven Sisters" so this event was a fitting way to celebrate the Maori New Year.

"It's fantastic to see such a diverse group of people gather together in one of our parks. The event was a great success and I hope to see it continue on next year," Cr Lamason says. 

Updated April 27, 2022 at 4:34 PM

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