The Back story...

The Matariki Cultural Foundation is an independent non for profit charitable trust. We were established in 2009 by the seven Auckland legacy councils as Tamaki Makaurau Matariki Festival Trust (the Trust) to transition 'Matariki Festival' out of Auckland Council control and take on the management of the festival.

Between 2010 to 202014 the trust focussed on Nga Toi Maori programming for events such as Films on Marae, Maori Music showcasing such as Tiramarama, Oceania Music Series during month of May, and held the major sponsorship with 2Degrees for 3 years.

Outside of the festival time the trust organised to celebrate the first ever International Jazz Day in 2013 with Auckland Museum and Maori/Pacific Musicians. Under the auspicious of George Te Aroha Kahi he spent time recording and translating well known jazz tunes into Te Reo Maori with Maori Musicians; Alana Goldsmith, June Pittman, Maree Sheehan and Emma Paki and others.

In 2014 the decision was made not to transition the Matariki Festival to the Trust, however we continued to programme for the festival up to 2015 in between that time, we established a Nga Toi community hub called 'Waikare on Q' top of Karangahape Road as a place for Toi Maori, Toi pacifica to happen with many an exhibition, fashion and other initiatives taking place.

Waiata Maori was a passion for George Te Aroha Kahi, who had championed many a Maori and Pacific musicians. He wanted to see Te Reo Maori and Pacific languages take centre stage and ensure that the pathways were there for emerging and mid-tier artists wanting a sustainable career in this industry.

His vision, saw the Trust partner with Puatatangi (Toi Aoteoara) to develop a  National Maori Music Strategy, facilitating the workshops in Tamaki Makaurau and writing the draft for a regional music strategy. Though it was never endorsed by the industry it became a living breathing document for the trust to build it's music footprint.

Since 2016 the Trust has attended the past four WOMEX (World Music Expo's) to scope the potential to present and promote Indigenous Maori and Pacific Music to the biggest conference of the global music scene, featuring a trade fair, talks, films and a showcase festival. In 2019 we rebranded and made the transition to the Matariki Cultural Foundation to facilitate exposure, networking, capacity building and indigenous music promotion.

The 'Matariki' name holds cultural importance as the celestial pathway of new beginnings and remembering those who have lead the way.

Brief Timeline...

WOMEX - WORLD MUSIC EXPO | is the most international music meeting in the world and the biggest conference of the global music scene, featuring a trade fair, talks, films and showcase concerts | with NZ Music Comission | developing the  indigneous pathway |  2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

WAIATA MAORI MUSIC AWARDS | Matariki Tamaki Makaurau Emerging Award | SEPTEMBER 2014  | Simone Holland  | Released her  first single 2015 | written and composed by Simone |
Produced by George Te Aroha Kahi and Matt Smith Record Studios.


SOUNDS AOTEAROA - Delegates |10 -11 March 2013  | Auckland’s Aotea Centre  

Matariki Song Writing Competition with Play it Strange | JUNE 2013, 2012

AWME - Delegates | 5th Year Anniversary Edition: 15 - 18 November 2012 | Melbourne Australia

SOUNDS AOTEAROA - Delegates | 14-16th March 2012 | Taranaki, Aotearoa

TOI MAORI AOTEAROA - Developing a National Maori Music Strategy with Ngahiwi Apanui Chair of Puatangi | Hosted Auckland workshops | prepared consultation notes | Developed a 10 year Waiata Maori Strategy for Tamaki Makaurau | August-September 2011



Waiata Magazine Issue 4, 2013. Published on Feb 3, 2013 Waiata Magazine, supporting the National Waiata Maori Music Awards held annually at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings.