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City centre update – May 2022

Matariki Light box

Work is advancing well on the major street upgrades outside the Municipal Buildings ahead of its opening in August, and this month we are anticipating a feast of activities to celebrate Matariki…

 Hastings City Centre outdoor dining and seating upgrades

  • Heretaunga Street East 300 block: Construction is well underway and on schedule for completion by July 1. The design includes new outdoor areas for tenancies in the Municipal Building, new lights, trees and planter boxes.
  • Pocket Park (corner Heretaunga and Warren) – new public seating area due for completion by July 1.
  • Queen Street East 200: The pavement works on the corner of Karamū Rd and Queen St will be completed in July, following the completion of the Heretaunga Street 300 streetscape upgrade.
  • Eastbourne Street East 300 block: This street enhancement, scheduled to start in July/August 2022, will complete the Eastbourne Street East street upgrade between Hastings Street and Warren Street. New footpath paving, street lights and rata trees will complete the visual link between the Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre and the Hastings Art Gallery and Library.
  • Planning will commence later in the year for the next streetscape upgrade – King Street, between Queen and Eastbourne.


Celebrating Matariki

For the first time this year we are celebrating the new public holiday for Matariki, and in addition to other events happening across the region, Hastings District Council is supporting a three-day festival of events in Hastings.

Huddle around the “welcome fires” and hear the stories of Nga Pou o Heretaunga whilst watching the Matariki stars digital light show. Enjoy music, dance and kai at the Matariki Feast, remember loved ones at the Pools of Matariki, join the lantern parade or simply pause, breathe and connect with our Māori culture, people and places.

Matariki Tāpuapua – The Pools of Matariki

For four nights we invite you to float a waka lantern on the tranquil waters of The Pond to make a wish for the future, or remember those who have passed since last Matariki. Don’t miss this peaceful, contemplative and memorable experience. Free entry.

When: Wed, June 22 – Sat, June 25. 6pm to 9pm.

Where: The Pond, Flaxmere Park, Swansea Rd, Hastings.


Matariki Stars Digital Light Show

A spectacular display of the constellations.

When: Wed, June 22 – Sun, June 26.

Where: Outside the Hastings District War Memorial Library.


Kai Hau Kai

Join Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi as they host Whangai i te hautapu ceremony. This sacred tradition is based on making a food offering to the Matariki star cluster, which rises as hot steam up into the skies. All welcome, free entry.

When: Thurs, June 23, 6am.

Where: Civic Square.


Pūrākau – Storytelling

Each night you are invited to nestle under the “big top” in Civic Square. Join the circle around communal fires as storytellers ignite our imaginations and illuminate our minds as they did for our forebears. Whānau will share the history of Nga Pou o Heretaunga as they bring to life 18 large pou carvings representing an ancestor from marae around Hastings district. Adjacent to the luxurious winter setting is the digital light show of the Matariki stars, a display not to be missed. Free entry

When: Thurs, June 23 – Sat, June 25.

Where: Civic Square.


Hākari Matariki – Matariki Feast

Come pull up a seat at our Matariki table to feast and commemorate New Zealand’s very first public holiday to celebrate Matariki. Enjoy a live entertainment showcase of singers, bands, kapa haka, choirs and hip hop dancers before a spectacular fireworks finale. Food trucks onsite for supper options. Free entry.

When: Fri, June 24, 5pm to 10pm.

Where: Tōmoana Showgrounds.


Te Hīkoi Whetū Matariki – Parade of Matariki Stars

Cosy up for the Matariki finale and join the lantern parade that will illuminate Hastings CBD. Craft your own lantern at home or collect one from Civic Square to follow the lights and music. Finish the parade with kai from food trucks or share a plate of traditional hangi before snuggling around the welcome fires to enjoy the Matariki stars digital light show. Free entry.

When: Sat, June 25, 5pm to 8pm.

Where: Civic Square.


Ongoing activities at Council

Hastings City Art Gallery

Terminus: by Jess Johnson and Simon Ward Now – Oct 24

One of the most exciting interactive exhibitions the gallery has put on for a number of years, this is bound to attract and a lot of people.

Terminus is a virtual reality exhibition featuring the work of Jess Johnson and Simon Ward that will appeal to art lovers, children and those interested in gaming and Sci Fi.

Prepare yourself for a slippage of time and space as you put on one of the five headsets that will propel you into five distinct realms.

Check the Hastings City Art Gallery website for more details.

Hastings District Libraries

Pride Month at Hastings Library  

A month of fabulousity celebrating love and belonging from 20 May – 19 June. We have a variety of activities and events for folk of all ages. Whether you are part of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally, make this your month to celebrate being yourself and accepting others as they are.

For more information and other events check the Libraries events calendar Check the Hastings District Libraries website to find out more.

21 June 2022

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