Trail shines a light on wonders of nature

Dave Murdoch





Those lucky enough to come out in the calm, mild conditions at the Dannevirke Domain on Wednesday evening, June 8, got a taste of the Tirama Luminate Light Trail, which set the tone for the threeday Matariki celebrations that were to come, had weather conditions not brought a postponement. It was created by Ngati Kahungunu ki Tamaki nui-a-rua and was a project created by Te Rangi Huata — Mr Matariki — who has been promoting the Matariki message for more than 20 years. Last Wednesday evening, he explained that his team of lighting volunteers had been working for a year but especially in the past eight weeks to create the Tirama Luminate Light Trail to reflect the nine stars of Matariki. He said visitors would enter the Te Waharoa o Matariki gateway and observe the trail of luminous stones, each stone being a symbol of one of the Matariki stars and what it symbolises. Te Rangi said the setting among the trees in the Upper Domain was the ideal way to introduce people to the wonders of nature — what his iwi had said it wanted to focus on. He said the trees were a mix of old, young, native and exotic, all cared for by the council reflecting a managed environment. He hoped the lights would entice people, sick of being locked in their homes by Covid, to come out and once again experience the wonders of nature and learn of the meaning of Matariki especially now it is celebrated as a public holiday. He said the three elements of Matariki: honour the past and those who have passed reflect on the bounty of the present dream and plan for the future were all reflected in the lights and he hoped visitors would enjoy them as well as the celebrations on Friday. This Matariki celebration in Dannevirke was to be the first of many over the two months to be experienced from the East Cape to Wairarapa but the weather forced the postponement and it will be the last on July 22, when the group would return.