Entry forms for the 2023 "Journeys" Multimedia Art Exhibition are available online now. Click here

Pitopito kōrero (News)

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Kia ora and ngā mihi to all locals and manuhiri (visitors) who attended events during the 2024 Te Anau Waitangi Festival. And a heartfelt thank you to all the performers, speakers, volunteers and hosts that partnered with us. 

Waitangi Day in Fiordland is a time for kotahitanga (unity), whānau (family) and acknowledging our shared history as a nation.
The theme for the 2024 was 'Whiria te tangata - Weave the People together'.

We would like to hear your feedback! We want to know what you enjoyed, what you want to see more of and any new ideas for 2025. Take the survey.

Highlighting the successes of a community working together, local artist Claire Maley-Shaw has shared her take on the collaborative mahi toi project she worked on, resulting in the special wall hanging now on permanent display at Te Anau Community Library. Full story below.

In the spirit of the 2024 Te Anau Waitangi Festival theme 'Whiria te tangata - Weave the People together', local artist Claire Maley-Shaw shares her story about the community project, the collaborative artwork. 

This special mahi toi project came together over 4 months and the final product was displayed at 'Draw Close' - the Waitangi Festival week art exhibition at The Arts Hub - Te Anau.

Whiria te tāngata - Weave the people together

"This Whakatauki emphasises the importance of unity, collaboration and working together as a community. It signifies that individuals are stronger and more effective when they come together and support each other. During October 2023, every Monday and Tuesday, between 3 and 5pm, 45 community members, adults and children, locals, and visitors met at the local library to learn different techniques of weaving harakeke (NZ flax).

The Kaiako (tutors) were Rangimārie Suddaby (Muka Threads), Sandra Ball (Twisted Rope and Four Plait), Kiri Bell (Flat Plait). Participants came from Te Anau, Manapouri, Milford Sound, Mararoa, Invercargill, Nelson, Tekapo, Japan, Malaysia and China. A truly international group of weavers. They all came with open minds, ready to learn and share their knowledge. There were children right through to the elderly. Collectively, they learned techniques for making muka and spinning that into thread, twisted rope, how to four plait and flat plait, all from harakeke (NZ phormium flax) sourced in the area.

At the end of the four weeks, local natural fibre Artist Claire Maley-Shaw was given the collective work to weave together. Claire chose to weave the fibres into a wall hanging. Just as the weavers came from around the globe, so did her choice of other fibres integrated into the weaving.

Harakeke (flax) - Te Anau Basin
Pandanus - Niue
Jute string - Bangladesh
Alpaca wool- Manapouri New Zealand
Sheep's wool - Manapouri
Raffia - Madagascar
Sisal – MexicoWhakamahia to whakāro/use your imagination!

He aha tau e rapu/what do you see?
He kanohi/An eye?
He waha/A mouth?
He whenua/A landscape?

While Claire was weaving this project, she reflected on the Whakatuaki 'Whiria te tangata - Weave the People together'

The whakatauki meaning in our community and in this project:

  • The sponsor Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group, through their Partnership fund

  • The instigators of the project, Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust

  • The use of the library by Te Rohe Pōtae o Murihiku/ Southland District Libraries

  • Te Whare toi/ The Arts Hub - Te Anau hosting the Waitangi exhibition

  • The nga kaiwhatu/weavers.

This project has well and truly met the goal! It showed unity, collaboration, and working together as a community. Individuals did become stronger. They came together and supported one another.

The project showed Te whakaoranga o nga tikanga tuku iho - Revival of traditional techniques: As well as helping to revive Māori traditional techniques, it incorporated influences of other cultural weaving elements, resulting in a fusion of styles. The resulting textile promoted cultural exchange, understanding, and appreciation. It is a testament to the richness and diversity of the weaving traditions worldwide.

The textile also reflects the theme of the Waitangi Exhibition, "Whakatata/Draw Close" - the threads made by the common city have been drawn close together!

Finally, this being the beginning of Waitangi Celebrations in the basin - I wanted to touch on how this weaving project upholds 3 of the Principles of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi to me.

Whakamarumarutia/Active Protection
The principle of protection is about actively protecting Māori knowledge, interests, values, and other taonga. Te pupuri i nga tikanga tuku iho - Preservation of tradition: Weaving is deeply rooted in cultural traditions and practices. It helps preserve and pass on traditional techniques, patterns, and designs from generation to generation. Weaving plays a crucial role in maintaining cultural identity and heritage.

The principle of Partnership is about working to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Māori and Pākehā recognise each other as full Treaty partners and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring.

Whai Wāhi/Participation
The principle of Participation is about contributing as active citizens, exploring and appreciating the rich and diverse cultures, languages, and heritages that shape our identities as New Zealanders.

I believe that the 'Whiria te tangata - Weave the People together' project demonstrates the above principles in an inclusive way.

Well done to the Fiordland Community."

Social Media

Follow Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date with announcements.

If you'd like to learn more about Matariki (Māori New Year) and the Maramataka (Māori Lunar Calendar), here's some links to useful websites.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Matariki: The Māori New Year - Matariki: Te Tau Hou Māori a range of written, audio and visual resources, many for children.

YouTube Channel by Professor Rangi Matamua Living by the Stars with numerous videos about Matariki and maramataka.

Information and downloadable resources from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa ‘Te iwa o Matariki: the nine stars of Matariki’ .

Society for Maori Astronomy Research and Traditions SMART: Society for Maori Astronomy Research and Traditions  academic papers and research about Māori astronomical knowledge.

Government press release about the release of Matariki holiday dates for the next 30 years Matariki holiday dates .

Media release: Dec 2023

Anika Moa headlines festival lineup in Te Anau ahead of Waitangi Day

Well known New Zealand singer-songwriter and TV and radio star Anika Moa will perform at Lions Park in the heart of Te Anau as part of the community's annual programme of cross-cultural events commemorating Waitangi Day in February 2024.

Event organisers, Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust, are stoked to host the beloved and extraordinarily talented Anika Moa alongside performances by Ngā Herenga Waka Kapa Haka and other local musicians. The Whānau Park Day on Saturday, 3 February, will mark the return of the Trust’s popular festival day to Lions Park for the first time since February 2021.

"We have had some fantastic events to mark Waitangi Day in recent years, but we haven't put a large traditional hangi down or had a full concert in the park for four years. It feels like the right time to draw a big crowd, feed everyone, and enjoy top New Zealand acts"
Trust Chair Toni Waiwiri

The 2024 festival week officially starts Thursday, February 1, with the opening of the Tamatea exhibition courtesy of Te Kupeka Tiaki Taoka - Southern Regional Collections Trust at the Fiordland National Park Visitors Centre. Saturday, February 3, will be a full day of music, food, games and activities at Lions Park, with waka opportunities at the lakefront on board Ururaki, a locally built 11-metre-long hybrid Polynesian waka hourua (double-hulled sailing waka) and have-a-go waka ama with Te Piritahi a Rua waka ama club.

Organised by Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust in partnership with Ngā Herenga Waka Kapa Haka, the festival week is an opportunity for locals and visitors to the region to come together to acknowledge and celebrate our shared identity.

“Our festival week is growing year after year, so we particularly appreciate that other community organisations and groups can deliver events as part of a coordinated community programme.  We like to plant the seeds and watch these things flourish.”

Other free events planned for the week include the popular historical cruise on Lake Te Anau, a movie screening of the New Zealand film ‘Uproar’on the evening of Waitangi Day, the ‘Draw Close’ art exhibition run by the Fiordland Arts Trust 31 Jan- Feb 11, and a Human Library and Story Walk by Te Anau Library.

Good graffiti to inspire Fiordland College students ahead of Māori Language Week 2023

Founder of the South Sea Spray Festival, street artist Danny “Deow” Owen, is set to collaborate with rangatahi from Fiordland College to design and paint a mural on one of their many concrete block walls. Using technology like Google Classroom, the students have been brainstorming and sharing their ideas with Deow in preparation for their work together, 8 – 11 September.

Public are invited to view the mural progress, anytime from midday on Saturday 9 September until Monday 11 September.

Fiordland College has introduced Project Based Learning, a student driven initiative where groups of akonga (learners) develop skills in an area that they are passionate about. After noticing a lack of diverse artistic expression in their town, one group set its sights on executing a high-quality mural project. “The areas surrounding Te Anau, offer so much that could be portrayed through a mural for locals and tourists to admire. Having something creative and new in Te Anau will add the much-needed spark of art and creativity so many people love.” Year 11 Fiordland College student.

‘Southernmost street artist’ Deow lives between Southern California and Southland, NZ and has left his mark on many cities, including on the Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill. Deow was asked if he would guide the students in creating an installation to leave a legacy for the school and start conversations of increasing public art opportunities in the Fiordland community. He believes the growing acceptance of street art will enable more youth to be involved in art.

Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust (TAWCT) is managing project funding on behalf of a wider group of organisations collaborating on ‘Matariki in Fiordland’. The Trust has a successful history of hosting local Waitangi Day and Matariki events. Chairperson Jill Mitchell-Larrivee says, “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Fiordland College for the street art project and building on a relationship that started about 17 years ago.” Among other initiatives, founding Trust members Matua Dale (Wairau) and Matua Toni (Waiwiri) and others, compiled the Te Anau haka and gifted it to the local schools.

Street Art Project - viewing opportunity

From 12pm Sat 9 September - Mon 11 September   |   Fiordland College   |   All welcome. Free to view.

You can view Deow’s previous work at deow.co.nz .

More details of events in Fiordland supported by Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust can be found on the Trust Facebook page @TeAnauWaitangiCharitableTrust and teanauwaitangiday.co.nz

"Matariki signifies a time of reflection, remembrance, celebration, and preparation."

Māori astronomer Victoria Campbell (Ngāi Tahu), member of the Matariki Advisory Committee.

The more people that participate the better.

WEEK 1  |  02 & 03 October, 3pm - 5pm
Muka threads with Kaiako Rangimāria Suddaby

WEEK TWO  |  09 & 10 October, 3pm - 5pm
Four plait with Kaiako Sandra Ball

WEEK THREE  |  16 & 17 October, 3pm - 5pm
Flat plait with Kaiako Kiri Bell

WEEK FOUR  |  Library closed on Labour Day
Self-led for this week only.

WEEK FIVE  |  30 & 31 October, 3pm - 5pm
Twisted rope

no experience needed!

Weaving Kaiako (tutors) will be based at Te Anau Library regularly during the month of October to show those who want to contribute to a collaborative art work, how to weave different types of cordage with harakeke.

Local artist Claire Maley-Shaw will use the cordage and ropes to create an art piece for the 2024 Te Anau Waitangi Festival, as a display of Whiria Te Tangata - Weave the People Together.

3pm - 5pm, every Monday & Tuesday in October
(besides Labour Day week)
Te Anau Library WiFi Room
112 Town Centre, Te Anau

Materials, instructions and tikanga information will be left in the library Wi-Fi room during October, allowing members of the public to make cords in their own time for inclusion in the final artwork.

Thank you to Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group for funding this project through their Partnership Fund.

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Thursday, September 21
Fiordland National Park Visitors Centre

fish futures team evening talk

Following a series of short talks, there will be a light supper in the Visitor Centre.

This event is free and is supported by Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust, Department of Conservation Te Anau and Edge Effect.

Fish Futures is a 5-year research programme hosted by the Cawthron Institute (Nelson). Diverse researchers and disciplines from across Aotearoa NZ and overseas. Working with communities to improve freshwater ecosystems and the lives of people living within them.

Among the group coming to Te Anau will be Nick Reo (Indigenous scholar and a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Sarah Crowley (Animal Geographer from the UK), Leah Gibbs (Geographer from Australia) and Alexis Farr (PhD student of Leah’s). From Cawthron Institute, we will hear from Marc Tadaki (Human Geographer), Alaric McCarthy (Social-Ecological Scientist), and Aisling Rayne.

Kite + Kemu Day

Sunday 10 September
12pm - 3pm
Te Anau Rugby Club

All ages   |   Free to attend.

Bring the whānau and a kite, it is guaranteed to be a fun afternoon.

Sausage sizzle and baking $2 per piece

Kapa Haka Wānanga Māori performance for beginners


All ages   |   Free to attend

New date to be advised soon
email info@teanauwaitangiday.co.nz


Adults class   |   Free to attend
Children welcome to play alongside class

New date to be advised soon
email info@teanauwaitangiday.co.nz

Matariki in fiordland 2023

2023 is the second year we will officially celebrate Māori New Year as a public holiday in Aotearoa. This year, the return of the constellation will be commemorated on 14 July.

Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust have collated a schedule of all Matariki inspired activities on offer in Fiordland this winter.

If you want to find out more about the Matariki constellation and what each star represents, check out the Matariki resource below, written for the Fiordland community by Māori astronomer Victoria Campbell. 

Mānawatia a Matariki!

Join Kairaranga Matua Des Cooper and Kaiako Tāua Rangimaria Suddaby at Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu Lodge in the Jericho Valley for a wānanga (workshop) to learn the traditional Māori practice of raranga / harakeke weaving.

The wānanga includes:

  • A 2.5-day weaving workshop suitable for beginners

  • Two nights at Te Kōawa Lodge

  • Kai and refreshments for the weekend

  • A Matariki celebration evening

Tickets are $65 pp - Limited spaces so booking is essential!

Participants who are able to attend for the entire wānanga programme will benefit the most from this kaupapa. If you need to arrive late or leave early, please let us know. This wānanga is aimed at beginners with no prior knowledge of raranga.


Friday 21 July

  • 6pm Mihi whakatau (welcome)

  • Potluck dinner

  • Introductions, tīkanga

Saturday 22 July

8am - breakfast
9am - 4pm Raranga (weaving) Wānanga, including:

  • Tīkanga (traditions, protocols) of raranga

  • How to identify, harvest and prepare harakeke for weaving, in accordance with traditional Māori practices

  • How to care for a Pā Harakeke (flax plantation)

  • Weaving a kōnae (small basket), and whetū (stars) to celebrate Matariki

  • Basic Te Reo around weaving, a karakia and a waiata

  • No prior weaving experience necessary.

Saturday evening

We will celebrate Matariki with a kōrero about Matariki and its importance, some purākau (stories) about the Takitimu Maunga, and enjoy a hangi and bonfire (weather permitting).

Sunday 23 July

8:00am - breakfast
9:00am - 3:00pm

  • More raranga/weaving using skills from the first day.

  • Te Waiau Mahika Kai Trust will give a presentation about the Te Kōawa Mahinga Kai Restoration Project.

Thanks to our sponsors and partners

Limited spaces. Booking is essential. Tickets are $65 koha pp


The accommodation is in bunk rooms, and participants need to bring their own bedding/sleeping bag and their own pillow. For more details on the Lodge please see Te Waiau Mahika Kai Trust website.

What to bring

Please bring the following to the Wānanga:

  • Craft knife (named)

  • Flax knife if you have one (for harvesting harakeke)

  • Gardening gloves, outdoor shoes or gumboots - for tidying up the Pā Harakeke

  • Slippers or indoor shoes

  • Some kai to share for potluck dinner on Friday night

  • Sleeping bag, pillow, and bottom sheet to cover the mattress in the bunkroom

  • Hottie (optional)

Thanks to our sponsors and partners

  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

  • Te Puna Kōkiri - Te Pu Harakeke Fund

  • Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Fund

  • Te Waiau Mahika Kai Trust

  • Te Anau Waitangi Day Charitable Trust

Matariki Multimedia Art Exhibition




Ka mahuta a Matariki i te pae, ka mahuta ō tātou tūmanako ki te tau.
When Matariki rises above the horizon, our aspirations rise to the year ahead.

Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust and the Fiordland Arts Society are pleased to be collaborating together again, to host a Matariki inspired multi-media art exhibition. Entries are open to all ages and close July 5th. Entry forms plus terms and conditions of entry are available to download from the buttons below or can be picked up at the Arts Hub.

Categories are pre-school, primary, young adult and adult.
Prizes will be awarded for each category and a ‘people’s choice’.

Entries close 5 July 2023. Exhibition runs 10 - 23 July 2023

Stuff.com story by Che Baker

From waka ama spectator in Te Anau to NZ team

Six weeks was all it took for an Invercargill woman to attend a Waitangi Day waka ama display in Te Anau, to representing New Zealand in the sport.

Then within months, para-athelte Melanie Magowan was standing on a podium at the IVF Va’A World Sprint Club Championships in London to receive a gold medal.

Almost two years ago, Magowan was faced with a decision – live with unfathomable pain and an unusable left leg, or amputate the limb below the knee.
Magowan chose the latter and in May was chosen to represent New Zealand at the world championships this month in a para mixed team.

The team won a gold medal in the V6 500m, silver in the V12 500m and bronze in the V6 1000m.

Astoundingly, Magowan said she only started waka ama two months before her selection into the team, “after accidentally ending up in the middle of a Waitangi Day celebration in Te Anau”.
It was that chance visit to that led her to waka ama, as a friend tried one of the free sessions available after a morning swim.
“She said ‘there’s a fixed bent seat, it’s perfect for you’.”
Magowan then contacted her local waka ama club (Te Piritahi a Rua) and went down to give it a go.
“They were so welcoming, didn't make a big deal of my disability, in fact welcomed me even more I would say.
“Most other sports I have tried have made a big deal of it, thrown barriers in my way or made things so difficult I gave up. But waka ama was so welcoming. I can only assume it is to do with the Māori cultural element.”
Within the first trainings she was being approached to join the New Zealand team.

While hesitant at first because of her lack of experience, a friend “pointed out my past international race experience, fitness background and discipline, ability to learn and drive to be my best”.
So she put in an application, was invited to a selection camp and was selected onto the elite para team.
“I was blown away. I had only taken the sport up six or so weeks before.
“I was told that my fitness background, ability to fit into and work as a team, and take on coaching advice were some of the key the characteristics they were looking for.
“When I was selected, I felt like I had actually found my calling post amputation. I was looking for a sport I could do, that I could excel in, that was not affected by my disability.”
Magowan is originally from England and had represented the country in triathlons.
“The fact that it [the competition] was in England was the icing on the cake. I got to go home for the first time in nine years.”
The first race was against Great Britain.
“I left everything out there on the course. We took the gold. I cried. It was a special moment.
“First time ever standing on a podium - and it was the top step. It was a very special moment indeed.”
The silver and bronze medal almost paired into insignificance by comparison to that moment.
Magowan said she was now seriously thinking about trying singles.
“I have the individual desire to push myself, so I can do both with waka ama. I am interested in the long distance worlds next year and will definitely continue this sport into the future.
“I have found my new identity as a para athlete.”

Source: Stuff story by Che Baker

Melanie Magowan won 3 medals representing New Zealand as part of the Waka Ama New Zealand Elite Para Mixed Team, competing at the IVF Va'a World Elite Sprint Championships 2022 in Windsor, UK.

Melanie Magowan won 3 medals representing New Zealand as part of the Waka Ama New Zealand Elite Para Mixed Team, competing at the IVF Va'a World Elite Sprint Championships 2022 in Windsor, UK.

Melanie Magowan competing with her team at the IVF Va’A World Sprint Club Championships in London in August 2022.

Melanie Magowan competing with her team at the IVF Va’A World Sprint Club Championships in London in August 2022.

Invercargill para-athlete Melanie Magowan with her gold medal from the IVF Va’A World Sprint Club Championships in London.

Invercargill para-athlete Melanie Magowan with her gold medal from the IVF Va’A World Sprint Club Championships in London.

Melanie Magowan represented New Zealand as part of the Waka Ama New Zealand Elite Para Mixed Team at the IVF Va'a World Elite Sprint Championships 2022 in Windsor, UK.

Melanie Magowan represented New Zealand as part of the Waka Ama New Zealand Elite Para Mixed Team at the IVF Va'a World Elite Sprint Championships 2022 in Windsor, UK.

Te Anau Waitangi 2022

A huge thank you to everyone that engaged in community activities and spent time acknowledging our national day.


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