Young people have had the opportunity to showcase their talent at this year’s Māruawai Matariki Celebration.

A committee comprising representatives of the Hokonui Rūnanga  Pomahaka Kāhui  Ako, Eastern Southland Kāhui  Ako, Lower Mataura Valley kāhui  Ako, Gore Kids Hub and Ready4Living organised the free event at the Southern Field Days Waimumu site on Friday.

It was the second year the celebration had been held.

Organising committee member Jo Brand said the majority of the entertainers were rangatahi (teenagers) and tamariki (children).

‘‘One of the kaupapa [guidelines] of this event is to provide the opportunity to be on a professional stage with professional sound [and] professional lighting.

‘‘Our rangatahi and tamariki are amazing and they should just be shining lights always.’’

About 5000 people attended the event.

‘‘What happens is people come and then they are mesmerised by the amazing performances from people.’’

After the 25 performances, which included kapa haka, dancing, a skit and a stilt performance, the evening finished with a fireworks display.

West Gore pupils perform a Matariki skit. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Mataura Primary School kapa haka group perform. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Moana-Alev Turkmen (15) sings while accompanied by Matua Wayne Turipa on guitar and Matua Neta Masunu on the cajon. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Tokanui Primary School kapa haka take their turn on the stage. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON