Haka lantern with Deputy Mayor Jill Day, Ngahiwi Apanui, Chief Executive of Māori Language Commission Te Taura Whiri i
Te Reo Māori, and Mayor Justin Lester
First Kate Sheppard did it, then Carmen Rupe and John Plimmer, now a wahine and a warrior are demonstrating a haka over
Wellington’s precious pedestrians.
On the day before the opening of the Te Matatini kapa haka festival, the “haka lanterns” were installed at a pedestrian
crossing next to Waitangi Park, where thousands attended the festival’s opening powhiri today.
“The hosting of Te Matatini - the pinnacle event for Māori performing arts – is a proud moment for Wellington, and the
haka lanterns reflect the critical role mana whenua and tangata whenua play in our city,” says Wellington Mayor Justin
“As we have done for many other significant events, Council has commissioned a unique haka pedestrian lantern to be
installed in a number of crossings across the city. The vision was to have these installed as a piki mai ki Pōneke – a
welcome to Wellington.
“With help from the New Zealand Transport Agency, we have been able to get them up in time for Te Matatini, so
thousands of festival-goers can enjoy them.”
The lanterns are being installed indefinitely at seven nearby intersections.
Deputy Mayor Jill Day says since Waitangi Day “we have really been encouraging people to kia kaha te reo Māori, and give
te reo Māori a go.
“We have more than 80 locations in the CBD and around the city that are supporting us in this endeavour, and the haka
lanterns are a fantastic addition to it,” she adds.
Last week, Wellington City Council was proud to unanimously pass the Te Tauihu Action Plan outlining our journey to
becoming a bilingual city by 2040. February has been a month long celebration of te reo in Pōneke.
This year is also the national celebration of indigenous languages.
Council has previously installed alternative pedestrian lights in other parts of the city: Commemorating Kate Sheppard
in the Parliament precinct, Carmen on Cuba Street, a soldier at Pukeahu War Memorial and John Plimmer around Customhouse