This year Craig , Debbie Hansen , Lyndall Chisnall and myself (Simon) were offered the opportunity to fly kites and celebrate the Maori New Year in Auckland, New Zealand.

It is celebrated when a small cluster of stars called Matariki are visable in the night sky just before dawn , and it is a time for remembering the dead and celebrating new life.

Pre-European Maori throughout New Zealand celebrated this time by flying kites

This New Year celebration is starting to make a come back , so after a traditional maori welcome we made our way out onto the hill top to fly kites with other kite flyers over looking the harbour and city, while in the marae they were making traditional Maori kites, and had a big enough hungi (a traditional way of cooking food for Maori) to feed everyone’s belly.

This is one event I plan to celebrate every year.

Simon Chisnall

While we were there we took the opertunity to visit the museuim in search of this rair manu aute (birdman kite ) is one of only two in existance and was made in 1886 by Wiremu Kingi at the request of Sir George Grey.