Celebration . . . A warm welcome awaits everyone at Te Whare Koa marae in France St this weekend for Matariki. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS

Matariki is being welcomed in Oamaru with a traditional two-day marae experience this weekend.

The Maori New Year is observed when the constellation called Matariki, also known as the Pleiades, becomes visible in the night sky.

Te Whare Koa marae, at 9 France St, will begin its celebration with a powhiri at 2.30pm tomorrow. That will be followed by afternoon tea, a hui, a hangi, kapa haka performances by local groups, then a hui at 7.30pm.

Sunday starts early to see the Matariki constellation before the sun rises.

Breakfast will warm everyone up and lead into a hui to set new year goals for the marae, whanau, and community.

A waiata will be taught, morning tea served, a hui held, then the weekend concludes with lunch.

“Everyone is most welcome,” marae representative Angela Taylor said.

“A koha/donation of any kind is encouraged, with proceeds raised going towards marae maintenance and much-needed repair.”

Ms Taylor said she hoped this would be the first of many more events based on important dates in the Maori calendar at the marae.trace affiliate linkTHE SNEAKER BULLETIN