Matariki events for tamariki and their whānau

Tēnā koutou katoa! Join us in celebrating Matariki at Wellington City Libraries this winter! It’s a time of celebration and reflection, of whānau and of kōrerorero — and a time to cook and eat delicious kai! Whether you want to celebrate with others or just learn more about this wonderful festival, your library has you covered with books, resources and events for the whole family.

Many of our usual preschool storytime and Kōhunga Kōrero sessions this month will be Matariki-themed, but we’re also running special Matariki events with stories, songs and crafts for tamariki and their families at selected libraries:

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Monday 18th June, 6:30pm
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Wednesday 20th June, 4:00pm
Island Bay Community Centre: Thursday 21st June, 10:30am
Karori Library: Thursday 21st June, 6:30pm
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Thursday 28th June, 3:30pm
Khandallah Library: Thursday 28th June, 6:30pm
Johnsonville Library: Friday 29th June, 3:30pm

These events are free, suitable for preschool and school-aged children and their families, and bookings are not required.

Celebrating Matariki 2018 at Central Library

Matariki ahunga nui – Matariki, provider of plentiful food

As the month of June rolls upon us, marking the end of the traditional harvesting time, we pause for reflection as the constellation of Matariki will soon reappear in the sky to mark the start of the Māori New Year – a time for remembering the past, reflecting on the present, and gathering hopes for new beginnings. At Wellington Central Library we have organised the following free events and promotions to mark and celebrate Matariki.

  • Emerging Winter Food Traditions
    Our first event is about food preservation and fermentation which fits so well with Matariki as the time following harvest.
  • An introduction to whakapapa research resources
    The next event is a look at resources for researching whakapapa and some examples of how these resources can be used, this again fits with the ideas of whānau coming together at Matariki.
  • He Taonga te Reo – What’s in a name?
    A presentation on the intricacies of naming places in today’s democratic society :  he kōrero by Neavin Broughton
  • #MatarikiMash
    In the lead up to Matariki we will also be running our twitter word play promotion “Matariki Mash” from 11 June where we invite you to play along by creating a story that uses the four selected Māori words for the day (don’t forget the hashtag #matarikimash).

Here are some more details about these events.

Monday 18 June
Central Library – Ground Floor, 12.30 pm
Emerging winter food traditions

Matariki poster 1 - Emerging Winter Food Traditions

For this korero we have invited Kelda Hains and Lois Daish who will engage in a structured conversation on themes that include the popular and trending topics of preservation and fermentation.

Lois Daish is a well-known local writer of cook books and you can read about her influence on the Wellington hospitality scene here and her appointment to Life Membership of New Zealand Guild of Food Writers here and in a food blog here.

Many of us carry a memory of her food column published by the New Zealand Listener and I’m sure there are many of us who have collected these recipes into folders and books that are now sitting alongside the cookbook collection at home. Luckily many of these recipes have also been gathered together in her cook book A Good Year – available at Wellington City Libraries and spanning her 23 years with the Listener.

When Lois was presented her life membership award Lauraine Jacobs, described her as someone who “has always cooked and written with sincerity and simplicity and empowered people to cook well every day.”

Lois was also a hands-on restauranter, with cafes at venues in Wellington from 1980s onwards. It was Lois who first gave our other presenter Kelda Hains her first opportunity to work in a restaurant, in her Brooklyn Bar and Grill in the 1990s. Since then, Kelda, in partnership with two others has spent 20 years at the Nikau Café, where she has honed her culinary skills and developed a deep fundamental belief in supporting local growers and their fresh produce to form a basic and essential basis for all her cooking. Her book Nikau Café is also available at Wellington City Libraries.

Kelda and her business partners have expanded their business interest to a new café in Aro Street called Rita where the kaupapa of fresh produce is embodied in her set menu dining. Through her experiments with traditional bottling/preserving she has evolved a passion for preserving by fermentation: beginning with sauerkraut and expanding to kohlrabi, celeriac, Korean kimchi, chick peas and koji rice. While this topic is a little fearsome for some of us, during this presentation Kelda will demonstrate her fascination with this process and you can read more about her love of these processes here.

Tuesday 19 June
Central Library – Second Floor, 12.30 pm
An introduction to whakapapa research resources

Matariki poster 2 - Whakapapa

Library staff will demonstrate the world of online and published resources that are available for whakapapa research at your public library.
Nau mai, haere mai. Come, sample our Land Court Minute Book indexes and bound minute book volumes (Wellington, 20 volumes, or microfilms covering a wider geographic area), our in-house database of Māori births, deaths (1913-1961) and marriages (1911-1952), and hidden treasures through online access to NLNZ’s PapersPast, Te Ao Hou, AtoJsonline, Donald McLean letters, Maorilandonline, and many other sources.

Friday 22 June
Central Library – CYA area, 12.30 pm
What’s in a name?


Neavin Broughton will discuss processes and meanings behind the selection of Te Reo Māori names for Civic Square, a sea walkway, the city wards, and other prominent features of the city.
It is exciting to peel back the layers of history of places and objects that our eyes flick over ever so casually, without our stopping to ask: the ‘what’ or the‘why’ -of the stories behind those names.

Saturday 23 June
Central Library – CYA area, 1-3 pm

Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with three events on Saturday:

1pm: Enjoy a kapa haka performance by Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi

1.30pm: Listen to a bilingual storytime led by Jill Day, Deputy Mayor

2pm-3pm: Performance and Interactive Family Singing with The Manawa Ora Children Community Choir

The Manawa Ora Children Community Choir is a group of young singers that gathers weekly to learn music from around the world. In this ensemble, children are accepted, celebrated and empowered, as they learn to sing in parts and in different languages. They then share their love of music with the broader Wellington community by singing at rest homes and community events. Join the choir and director, Lala Simpson, on Saturday, June 23rd from 2 – 3 PM for an interactive performance and workshop at the Wellington Central Library! Children, parents, and grandparents are all welcome!

Starting Monday 11 June
Twitter wordplay with #MatarikiMash

Matariki Mash
We invite you to test your imagination and your skill with language and help us celebrate Matariki! Inspired by the New Zealand Book Council’s #ramereshorts weekly Twitter competitions, we’ll be running a special word challenge for 4 weeks as part of the Matariki celebrations.

How does Matariki Mash work? We’ll post up four te reo Māori kupu each Monday and Wednesday morning on Twitter (you can follow us at @wcl_library) and all you need to do is bring your word play skills and include them in a tweet short story, together with the #MatarikiMash hashtag.

Many thanks go to the New Zealand Book Council, for letting us borrow their idea.

New Zealand Book Council

Monsters and Crafts @ Central for the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival!

This winter, reach way back to your neolithic roots with the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival. Observe the longest nights of the year and the deep dark of winter with a hearty mix of monsters and crafts, music and feasting, dance and theatre and finish it all off with a fiery waterfront procession.

What is that Monster in the Central Library?

Between June 6th-20th come into the Central Library and behold Seraphina! Representing the messenger, the bringer of birth, death, and rebirth as part of the cosmic fire of creation; in Seraphina’s nest, place hand written notes of what you wish gone and feed it to the cavity in her stomach. In her egg, place your notes containing that which you wish to build anew: your hopes, dreams, and love for the future.

Then, on the night of the Winter Solstice Ritual (June 21st), follow Seraphina, accompanied by a live orchestra, as she begins her procession through Civic Square to the Whairepo Lagoon where she will be set ablaze along with all of the thoughts and feelings you fed through your notes, in an ancient ritual celebrating birth, death, and rebirth.

Did someone say crafting event at the Library?

During Seraphina’s stay at the Central Library, partake in two evenings of crafting and papier-mâché fun with FREE workshops run by local artists Zoe Higgins and Leda Farrow.

From 6-8pm on Wednesday June 6th, celebrate the installation of Seraphina and come along to Central for a FREE Mask Making Workshop lead by artist Zoe Higgins. On the ground floor in the YA area, enjoy an evening getting crafty and making your own papier-mâché mask that you can then wear to the winter solstice parade on June 21.

The following Wednesday (June 13th) at 6-8pm, try your hand at something different with a Silhouette Egg Lantern Workshop lead by artist Leda Farrow. The egg, a universal symbol of life will be an ancient and symbolic inspiration for your lantern which can then be used to light the way for Seraphina during the winter solstice parade.

All materials and paints will be included and provided. Registration is required, as there are a limited number of spaces available.

To register, please contact either the Library or Lōemis via email to enquiries@wcl.govt.nz  or info@loemis.nz, via phone at 04 801 4040 or come and speak to a Librarian to reserve your place.

These events are suitable for people of all ages however children must be supervised by an adult.

What about all of the music and feasting, dance and theatre?

Enjoy feasting and music at the Feast Of Yaldā, take in the wonders of theatre with the innovative work Íkaros and be tempted by an evening of dance with Footnote Dance Company’s production Search Engine, to name but a few.

Make sure you check out the full Lōemis programme and ticketing information at Lōemis.nz

It’s NZ Dance Week Question Time!

We are counting down to NZ Dance Week (5, 6, 7, 8… get it?) and are getting SO excited for what’s happening at Central Library that week, that librarians have been started tapping and jiving through the shelves! So in the lead up to Dancing Through The Pages we quizzed our upcoming performers about their favourite books and current reading habits!

In order of the week’s performances, we kicked things off with choreographer and Artistic Director of Java Dance Theatre Sacha Copland.

So Sacha, tell us what are you reading at the moment?
“I usually have a few books on the go at any one time. For fun I am reading The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur.  For research for my next work I am reading The Brilliant History of Colour in Art by Victoria Finlay and Chocolate Nations, Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa by Orla Ryan. I am really interested in exploring colour more. There is too much monochrome! Also my next work is about chocolate so I have to research every aspect of it before I make it, the good, the bad and the ugly.”

What about your all-time favourite book character?
“This is tricky to answer! Maybe Aomame, a martial-arts instructor and physical therapist from Haruki Murakami’s IQ84. I also love Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.”

Next up we have contemporary dancer and choreographer Lucy Marinkovich along with saxophonist and composer Lucien Johnson who answered our questions with the same creative partnership that we will hear more about at ‘A Song & Dance’!

What are you two reading at the moment?
Lucien: “Talking to My Daughter about the Economy by Yanis Varoufakis
Lucy: “Bright Air Black by David Vann (in preparation for the NZ Festival show OrphEus: a dance opera).”

Do you two have a favourite dance book or magazine?
Lucien: “For me it’s a music book: Music is my Mistress by Duke Ellington.”
Lucy: “Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.”

Lucien, what about your favourite book to recommend?
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin or Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T Anderson.”

For the final act we asked the same round of quickfire questions to the man behind ‘The Story of LARK’ Louglan Prior, RNZB dancer, choreographer and filmmaker extraordinaire!

What are you reading at the moment?
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.”

Your all-time favourite book character?
“Albus Dumbledore.”
(We can’t fault you there, #WCLLovesHarryPotter!!)

What about your favourite book to recommend?
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.”

And final question, do you have a favourite dance book or magazine?
David Hallberg’s autobiography – A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back and DANZ Magazine.”

Want to know more about Dancing Through the Pages and what’s happening for NZ Dance Week? Check out wcl.govt.nz/danceweek for all of the info, add the Facebook Event to your calendar and follow the hashtag #nzdw2018! We hope to see you there!

Pro-tip: don’t miss our most recent biographies booklist! We’ve hand-picked a selection of some of the prominent dancers in history, from Gene Kelly to Michael Jackson. We couldn’t resist making a list of our favourite dance movies as well, what better reason to relive Footloose is there! Take a look!

NZDW 2018