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Christchurch City Libraries
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Christchurch 8154,
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Matariki: A Time of Plenty

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Information contained in media releases is correct at the time, but may change after publication. Please check the Library News page for latest updates about library services or contact us, ph: 9417923.

11 June 2010

Food is the theme of Matariki being celebrated at Christchurch City Libraries, Ngā Kete Wananga-o-Ōtautahi throughout this month.

Matariki, known as the Māori New Year, is traditionally a time of plenty: kūmara and other crops were stored and birds and fish were abundant.

Traditional food storage containers from Canterbury Museum are on display in the Central Library, throughout the month.

Libraries staff members learnt to weave Waikawa (traditional woven flax baskets), some of which are in community libraries to collect donations of non-perishable food for the City Mission. These Waikawa are in the Bishopdale, Fendalton, Halswell, Linwood, Papanui, Shirley, Spreydon and Upper Riccarton libraries.

For the past six years CCL has developed learning activities and events to promote Matariki, one of the most significant celebrations on the Māori calendar and becoming increasingly well-known and celebrated throughout New Zealand.

Other activities and events at libraries are:

  • A mask competition – vote online on the CCL website or visit Ngā Hau e Whā Marae, where the masks are on display, to cast a paper vote for your favourite mask and go into a draw to win a Waikawa filled with edible goodies
  • A slideshow relating to information about traditional Māori kai created by staff member Denise Jack, in the Central Library
  • Matariki themed storytelling for children
  • Rock painting – paint your own rock with traditional Māori patterns or your own design
  • Star weaving - weave a star out of ribbon (to preserve the natural resource flax)
  • A flower (putiputi) weaving workshop in the Central Library
  • Technology-based class lessons on Matariki at the South Learning Centre (bookings required, ph. 941 5140)
  • The Mobile Bus Library, dressed for the occasion and highlighting Māori resources, at Ngā Hau E Whā National Marae for the community evenings on 15 and 17 June.

All activities are free.