SATURDAY 11 JULY
Hiwa-i-te-rangi is the final star and it’s name is connected to the promise of a prosperous season. ‘Hiwa” means vigorous growth. Maori believe this wondrous star carrys our dreams and wishes on a joyous journey through the coming year. This is a similar notion to ‘wishing upon a star’ or making a new year resolution.
6pm – 9.45pm. The Matariki light trail turns Maybury Reserve into a magical landscape. Enjoy light displays of Māori-inspired imagery set among thousands of fairy lights. Wrap up warm and enjoy Māori New Year celebrations in Glen Innes.
7pm to 8.45pm .Entertainment on stage in Te Oro Music Centre.
PAK"NSAVE Matariki Fireworks Spectacular. 9.00pm
Not many people can say that they get to blow stuff up and get away with it.
But that's exactly what Te Rangi Huata has been doing. For the last 21 years he's been lighting up the night sky with his firework displays.
"What makes our fireworks a bit different is they're called pyro-musicals, a show that is done to music, so the shell fires on the beat, so by the time the beat hits it will explode in the sky."
He's the man behind the scenes of six Matariki fireworks displays in Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and Auckland this year and says it takes a lot of work to pull a show together.
"It's about four to five hours of preparation for every minute of fireworks," he explains. In that time, 1200 shots launch into the night sky with a brilliant array of colour. That's around 150 shots a minute.
To get light and shade in the show, the crowd is taken through highs and lows, much like in a drama.
"There is always a big finale at the end, sort of like an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence."
This year Huata and his team from Public Dreams Trust will have their work cut out for them, with Ngati Kahungunu hosting six major Matariki events from Wairarapa to Wairoa then the Te Ara Rama Matariki Light Trail in Glen Innes, and all of them will have a fireworks display. Matariki, the Maori New Year, will tell the story of giving thanks for the harvest.
The Glen Innes PAK”NSAVE Matariki Fireworks Spectacular will light up the night skies at 9.00pm on the final night.
”We’re thankful to Rob Redwood, the owner of Glen Innes PAK”NSave”, said Huata. “He has been a wonderful supporter of the fireworks display funding the event’s finale this year and the past six occasions.”
"Doing fireworks at Matariki gives it that heightened experience, with Matariki being a Maori celebration that's been revived in a modern context for all New Zealanders to enjoy."
The displays don't come cheap. "The shows we're doing cost about $10,000 per show, but because we do it ourselves we can produce a show of that value but not at that cost."
His love affair with pyrotechnics began in 1998 when there was no one else available to put together a fireworks display for New Year's Eve in Hawke's Bay. So, he trained as a pyrotechnician in Christchurch with fireworks guru Anthony Leyland from Fireworks Professionals, enabling him to put together his own shows. He hasn't looked back, just skyward.