Ōtautahi Matariki Celebration

Our Tūhono Matariki was an event bringing together our care-experienced community and celebrating Matariki. This began with dinner from 6pm-8pm at the North New Brighton Community Centre where we gathered for a hāngi, followed by a panel discussion about Matariki and Maramataka and closing with a performance of our VOYCE Whakarongo Mai waiata.

Afterwards, we made our way down to the new seaside hot pools at He Puna Taimoana in New Brighton for sea, stars and waiata. This was a relaxing end to our night where pēpi, tamariki, rangatahi and whānau all came to chill out, connect, and soak under the stars.

This tūhono was led by our Te Waipounamu team with help from YCD for the hangi and Jade Moana for the salads. A huge thank you to our panelists Richie Mills, Jade Moana and Hunia Te Urukaiata McKay, and Manawa Te Heu Heu for facilitating.

There was face-painting and playdoh available for the younger tamariki, which was led by our VOYCE intern Sapphire. There were some pretty cool facepaint requests, including unicorns and a ‘Hornby Pythons’ rugby ball. The little ones enjoyed playing with the playdoh and mixing all of the colours together.

This was a hugely successful tūhono and our biggest yet. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and loved the opportunity to connect with people they hadn’t seen for a while. We had over 100 people for dinner and 60 care-experienced people and whānau join us at the hot pools. The multiple pools meant that there was space for everyone to enjoy the pools how they wanted to, with some tamariki getting to jump in and splash around, and older rangatahi having some calm and relaxing space in different pools.

The biggest highlight was seeing our community absoluetly turn up! There were people that had been to our tūhono before but there was also lots of young people and whānau that had never been to a tūhono with us before and got to see what we are all about. We loved seeing caregivers connect with rangatahi they hadn’t seen for a few years, previous foster siblings reconnecting, lots of talking and laughter and people trying new things.

We got lots of positive feedback about the hot pools and that it was so cool to get to go because they had never been before. Also that it was fun to hang out with their friends or do something as a family that didn’t cost heaps. A family pass it usually $60, which can put a trip to the pools out of reach for some.

A massive thank you and shout out to Sport New Zealand who funded this event through the Tū Manawa fund!