Here is the second article published in the local newspaper announcing Puanga Kai Rau!
Parihaka set to party
by Deena Coster (Taranaki Daily News)
Iwi prepare for Puanga Star Parihaka is getting set to party this weekend to celebrate the beginning of Puanga.
The unique festival honours the rising of the Puanga star, which marks the beginning of the Maori New Year for Taranaki iwi.
In other areas around New Zealand, the celebrations are often referred to as Matariki. The star constellation was used historically for navigational purposes and provided a sign to people to prepare the soil for planting.
This theme of renewal is one which will be threaded throughout the weekend, said festival organiser Charissa Waerea.
Following Friday's powhiri, the traditional Puanga fire will be lit and will be maintained throughout the course of the weekend.
"It symbolises ahi kaa and the presence of people living on the land," she said.
Stories from kaumatua will be shared around the fire and there will also be time for the people who had passed on to be remembered.
A range of different activities have been organised for the weekend including film screenings and live music as well as a chance for visitors to get hands-on in the community garden or as part of a working bee at the pa.
Waerea said although the weather was always a bit of a gamble at this time of year, she hoped it did not put people off from coming.
"We're extending the welcome out to people all over the maunga," she said.
She encouraged people to bring kai to share after the powhiri and people were welcome to stay on the marae overnight if they wanted to.
There are other events on to celebrate Puanga around the region over the next fortnight.
One such event is an art exhibition to be held at Hawera's Lysaght Watt Gallery which runs until June 27.
For more information about the festival visit www.puanga.info
Promotion for the Puanga Kai Rau Festival are in full swing. Posters and flyers are being distributed, newspapers advert will appear soon and we had an article in the Taranaki Daily News a few days ago.
Radio interviews are lined up over the next couple of weeks. Please help us by getting the word out - still the best way to reach people. Nga mihi!
1. Does this festival cost anything?
Kao (No). However, please bring some kai to share (preferably in a woven kono) for the pōwhiri.
2. Can I come to the Saturday - the concert, the garden, the kids zone - if I didn't come to the pōwhiri on Friday night?
3. Can I stay the night at the marae?
Ae (Yes), please do!
4. What about food?
There will be a cafe operating at Te Niho o Te Atiawa all day Saturday where you can purchase food and hot drinks.
5. What about alcohol?
This is a drug- and alcohol-free event, e hoa mā!
Any other questions, please contact us :-) Ngā mihi!
The 2014 festival will take place from Friday, 13th to Sunday, 15th June at Parihaka (South Taranaki). Please note, changes to the program might still occur.
Friday, 13th June 2014
5pm - Pōwhiri at Te Paepae o Te Raukura followed by kai. Please bring a plate or a kono to share.
6.30pm - Lighting the Puanga fire and kōrero from kaumatua.
7.30pm - Documentaries at Te Niho o Te Atiawa.
Saturday, 14th June 2014
9 - 12am - Garden working bee at Te Tipunga (Community garden).
11am - 2.30pm - Kids Zone - Games, stories and the Puanga Amazing Race at Toroanui Marae.
1 - 5pm - Workshops at Te Paepae o Te Raukura.
3 - 5pm - Karaoke competition (aka Parihaka Idol!) at Toroanui Marae.
5 - 9pm - Concert featuring Te Kohikohinga Kohatu, Roger Rangitawa and friends, Shirleen Ngawhare and Rawiri Mahutonga, Ora and Wiremu Hohaia and the Kaumatua Kapa Haka team!
Sunday, 15th June 2014
Morning working bee - come help clean up Parihaka :-)
12pm - Poroaki and kai at Te Niho o Te Atiawa
We are pleased to be able to announce the first band: Te Kohikohinga Kohatu (TKK)! TKK is a 6-piece band based in Taranaki; specializing in traditional and contemporary Māori music. They play in the styles of World, Jazz, Funk, Soul and Reggae.
Check out their website: www.tkk.co.nz
Tena koutou, here are the dates for this year's Puanga Kai Rau Festival: Friday, 13th June to Sunday, 15th June 2014!
More information will be available soon. Please mark these dates in your calendars.
From the Taranaki Daily News
The population of Parihaka is expected to swell next weekend as hundreds of people make a pilgrimage of peace to the annual Puanga Kai Rau Festival.
Each June, the stars of Puanga signal the end of one year and the beginning of the next for Maori.
Parihaka kuia Maata Wharehoka said the weekend was designed to bring Taranaki back to Parihaka and celebrate the new harvest season.
"This is the second time our community has come together to celebrate Puanga and we are inviting the whole region to come and join in the festivities and activities."
The celebrations start on June 7 with a lighting of the first fire and will continue through to Sunday with working bees, film screenings, workshops and live bands on Toroanui Marae.
"During the day, our cooks will be busy feeding the people and showcasing some of our excellent Maori cuisine.
"At night, we will gather around Puanga and the seven fires representing the sisters of Matariki.
"This will be the time for story-telling, music, fun and laughter."
We just made a couple of slight changes to the program. While it's windy today, the weather forecast is looking good for the weekend!
We are pleased to announce that we have just released the final program of this year's festival. You can find the details of the concert, the workshops, documentary film screenings and other activities HERE.
See you all in a few days at Parihaka!
“We are so excited with Puanga - our Maori new year - coming to Parihaka next month. We will celebrate with festivities by lighting the first fire on Friday symbolising the star of Puanga. On Saturday we will acknowledge Matariki a constellation celebrated by other iwi and light seven fires representing each sister” says Maata Wharehoka, kaitiaki of the Parihaka marae Te Niho o Te Atiawa.
“Enjoy the rising stars performing on the stage, including superstar Mihirangi, Te Kohikohinga Kohatu and local youth.”
“This is the second time our community has come together to celebrate Puanga and we are inviting the whole region to come and join in the festivities and activities. Bring the children there will be activities for them. Once again this is a drug and alcohol free festival.”
“Puanga (Rigel) is a star that marks the Māori new year for Taranaki tribes and it’s a special time of year to give thanks to our tupuna (ancestors) and to prepare the soil for planting for the coming year. So it is fitting that after our powhiri on Friday 7 June at 5pm, we will bless our new orchard site and plant our first tree together.”
“On Saturday 8 June, we will have a busy day with a working bee in the community garden, film screenings of documentaries about passed Parihaka leaders, five workshops on maori music, art, dying and death, permaculture and Pare Kore, as well as live bands on Toroanui Marae.”
“During the day, our cooks will be busy feeding the people and showcasing some of our excellent Maori cuisine.”
“At night, we will gather around Puanga and the seven fires representing the sisters of Matariki. This will be the time for story telling, music, fun and laughter, sharing your stories, sharing your music - jam sessions welcome!”
“We are very much aware of our environmental footprint and encourage people to car-pool and also make sure to use our recycling facilities here at Parihaka.”
“Come and spend this special time of the year with us at Parihaka - Aotearoa's centre of peace. Together we can continue the legacy of our leaders, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi” concludes Maata Wharehoka.