• Media release

13 Jul 2023


Southland District Council, in partnership with Te Ao Marama, is working on a Matariki wayfinding pou project co-funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF).

Council is collaborating with the four runanga within the Murihiku takiwa, Catlins Coast Inc, Great South and Invercargill City Council.

Stage one of the project has begun, which is the installation of a sign in each of the towns/areas identified as locations for the pou. These signs serve as an introduction to the star assigned to the area, and to the project as a whole, allowing the wayfinding experience to occur as the project develops over the next 12 months.

Locations were selected which considered the Matariki constellation, reinforced the existing Southern Scenic Route and were related to the attributes of each individual star.

The 10 sites are at Te Anau, Garston, Mandeville, Matariki Cosy Nook, Taramea, Invercargill, Motupohue Bluff, Rakiura Stewart Island, Slope Point and Curio Bay.

The locations of the signs installed at these places do not necessarily reflect the location of the final pou. As part of stage two of the project, engagement on the final sites will be ongoing.

Stage two includes a pou and signage giving more detail about Matariki and the location.

Through 10 individual pou sites (eight in the Southland District Council area and two in the lnvercargill City Council area) and the associated interpretational panels, the project will achieve the following outcomes:

  • a connected wayfinding experience throughout parts of our region, visiting locations and stops on the way
  • co-design with iwi, which allows Te Rohe Pōtae o Murihiku (Southland District Council) to produce an outcome that will ensure Māori cultural narratives and history are reflected in both infrastructure and landscape
  • acknowledging Matariki as an integral part of our society - to learn and understand a Māori world view of the stars to be enjoyed by our region's residents and visitors
  • promoting and preserving dark skies and astro-tourism in the region
  • supporting infrastructure in areas where it has been recognised there is a lack, for example, Slope Point
  • connecting to other strategies and outcomes such as Milford Opportunities, Dark Skies, Council's open spaces strategy, and the Southern Scenic Route.

The nine signs that have been erected in the approximate locations of the final pou, reflecting the Matariki constellation. Permission for use of the face artwork on each sign has been granted by Dr Rangi Matamua, from the book ‘Matariki - The Star of the Year'.

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