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.