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Light and fire tonight at Ahi Kā and OneOne

Wellington’s Matariki celebrations continue tonight with free family-friendly celebrations taking place around the waterfront.

Tonight’s Ahi Kā event on and around Whairepo Lagoon is a new venture for Council, and due to become an annual fixture.

From 6:00pm, the opening Ahi Kā procession Nga Wai Piāta (Streams of Light), featuring children from seven regional schools, will light fire on the water. This will burn until the end of the event at 10:00pm.

Māori performers and storytellers can be found on stages around Whairepo Lagoon and Odlins Plaza.

“We’ve been working on this for a couple of years,” said Mayor Justin Lester. “In time it’s going to build into a must-do on the Wellington calendar.

“More and more individuals, businesses, organisations and families are celebrating this year in their own special way. It’s only going to grow in years to come.”

From 7:00pm on Friday and Saturday, the promenade at Te Papa will host the presentation of the art and dance installation OneOne.

Created in 2014 by award-winning filmmaker Daniel Belton and Good Company Arts, the AV/digital short film installation, inspired by the 25-million-year-old stones of the South Island’s Maerewhenua River, will be projected onto the wall of Te Papa.

Dance combines with cutting-edge media, geometric visuals and deep cultural knowledge to tell the story of humans as part of an eternal cycle.

OneOne was first created in 2014 and has since toured around New Zealand, South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, but this Wellington event is the first time it has been presented outdoors.

It is also the biggest installation of the work to date, and is expected to be visible from the motorway

OneOne will run on a 25-minute loop cycle through to 10:00pm.

Given the likely popularity of these events, the Council recommends use of public transport. While numbers are unlikely to match the estimated 30,000 who packed Taranaki Wharf for the Waka Odyssey performance at the New Zealand Festival, the fine, clear weather is expected attract large crowds. Metlink are providing additional services on the Kapiti, Hutt Valley and Johnsonville lines after 9.30pm for the public’s convenience.

Food trucks will operate along the Waterfront after the Ahi Kā opening ceremony.

Audiences are advised to dress warmly.

Video of OneOne at the Arts Foundation of New Zealand Arts Award ceremony in 2015.