Matariki is traditionally a time for new starts and that's exactly what organisers of 'Te Ahurei Matariki Takatāpui' hope to achieve.

They hope their festival will strengthen connections between the rainbow and Māori communities.

Organiser Whatitiri Te Wake says the festival is about the rainbow community celebrating Matariki. 

"I whakatō te kākano e toru marama ki muri me te whakaaro horekau he wāhanga mō te iwi takatāpui i waenganui i ngā ahurei o te Matariki."

Te Wake also says there are a variety of items at the event from information about traditional healthy living to kapa haka.

"Ka kite ngā patupaiarehe katoa o Tāmaki Makaurau e muramura mai ana i te pō - ngā drag queens rā, ā mātou kaiwaiata, ngā kaikanikani, ngā kairotarota me tō mātou rōpū haka takatāpui." 

Dancer Jacob Tamata says the event will incorporate Māori culture in honour of Matariki. 

"I get to be immersed in my culture for the greater good of it and just understand that what I perform to the audience is what I can contribute as love."

Te Ūnga Waka Marae, Ending HIV, Raw Foundation and Auckland Council are all backing the event. 

Te Wake adds there is a focus in getting Māori in the LGBTQI+ community to attend. 

"Ka taea ō mātou whānau takatāpui kaumātua mai, rangatahi mai ki te whakapiri i raro o Matariki ki te āta wānanga ki te kōrero e pā ana ki ngā take e pehi ana i a tātou."

The event starts today at Te Ūnga Waka Marae at Lot 23 in Eden Terrace and runs until July 21.

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