Image for Te Ara I Whiti – The Lightpath Show

Te Ara I Whiti – The Lightpath Show

The rising of the Matariki star cluster heralds the start of the Māori new year. The 2022 Matariki Te Ara I Whiti light show represents the tangata whenua narrative of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the theme Ahi Kā roa / long burning fires of occupation.

Inspiration for this choreography with light comes from a waiata titled Hikaia ngā o Matariki which was written for this year’s Matariki festival by Joe Pihema, and performed by Majic Paora. You can listen to the waitata whilst experiencing the Lightpath Matariki - download from Spotify.  

Te Waka o Rangi - the Matariki star cluster forms the bow and is steered above the horizon by Taramainuku at the stern. As the waka travels across the sky, he releases into the sky the souls who have passed in the previous year to become stars. As Te Waka o Rangi travels across Te Ara I Whiti, those who have passed this last year are released as shimmering stars.

Since Tuperiri outstretched his cloak over Tāmaki Makaurau more than three centuries ago, descendants of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have had an enduring relationship with the land known as ahi kā roa. Ceremonial fires, and fires for cooking and for warmth, light up Te Ara I Whiti in yellow and orange providing protection and guardianship for Tāmaki Makaurau.

With warmth, people populate the land. Te Ara I Whiti lights up in golds and blues, representing generations and individuals, embedding themselves in the weaving of time. As the path quietens into midnight blue you too can activate the lights as you move along, until the cycle begins again as it has done every year and as it will continue to do so, every year.

Suitable for: All ages

Where: Enter the path via the top of Nelson Street or Canada Street, Auckland Central

Cost: Free

  • Family Friendly
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Free event