Special pānui / July 2020

Matariki Special

When Ranginui and Papatūānuku were separated by Tāne, some of the brothers (Whiro, Rūaumoko, Tāwhirimātea) were upset at the separation of their parents. It is said that Tāwhirimātea became so angry and upset when it happened, he cried. He cried so much that his eyes burned, so he tore them out and threw them into the sky. Some believe that it was pure grief, whereas some say that he did this to cloak his father in light so that his mother could see her lover in the dark, at night. It is Tāwhirimātea’s eyes that are known today as the stars of Matariki. Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ – ‘mata’ meaning eyes or gaze, ‘ariki’ meaning god. Another explanation for its name is ‘little eyes’ – ‘riki’ meaning small.

The first sighting of Matariki usually happens at dawn on the coldest day of the year; sometime between late May and early July. Māori use the first sighting as an indication that a new year has begun and at this time, we gather together to reflect on the year that has passed, and to look forward to the year ahead. This is where the name for June comes from – ‘Pipiri’ meaning to keep close together.
One other important star to note is Puanga (Rigel in Orion).  Some believe that it is the rising of Puanga which signifies the start of the new year – this is usually because Māori in certain areas can see Puanga more prominently than the Matariki constellation.


In celebration of Matariki, here are nine activities you can do at this special time which acknowledge the traditional meanings of the constellation’s nine stars. These are activities you can do in your everyday life or own environment with whānau and friends, or independently.
  1. Plant something new in your garden – something ‘in season’
  2. Research, read and learn about one fruit or vegetable that Māori would have planted at this time of the year
  3. Either go for a dive, go fishing or eeling, or learn about how one of these activities were affected by the stars of Matariki
  4. Use this time to pick, gather or harvest the end of the season’s fruit or vegetables (in your own environment) or visit somewhere local (e.g. The Wee Red Barn)
  5. Celebrate the night sky by looking at the stars or learning about the stories at the local ‘Stonehenge’ or our local museums
  6. Attend a Matariki event or gather with whānau and play games, tell stories, share kai
  7. Visit your whānau’s urupā or light a candle and reflect on the precious people in your life who have passed
  8. Think about your aspirations, hopes, and dreams for the year ahead and write a list of resolutions
  9. Connect with nature – go for a hīkoi, visit your Tūrangawaewae, or listen to the birds
Let us know on our social media platforms how you and your whānau celebrated Matariki. Our Trust wanted you to know that we are very focussed on this reset and that we are committed to making sure we can do our best for you. In the meantime, continue to wash your hands, keep up the physical distancing, cough into your elbow, stay home if you are sick and be kind.
Nau mai, e ngā hua o Matariki.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Wairarapa

Matariki kanohi iti. Matariki ahunga nui.

On Friday 26 June Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Wairarapa celebrated Matariki. On arrival at kura, tamariki were excited to follow a lantern pathway to the field where there was a bonfire waiting. At 6am the wharekura led karakia and waiata.

Following this the tamariki planted native and fruit trees on the kura field and they also buried a time capsule (tamariki wrote letters to their future selves and left special items in the capsule with the intention to reopen it in ten years).
The ceremonies were followed by a hākari breakfast before tamariki and whānau travelled by bus to Ōnoke for the official naming of the kura’s new waka ama. A few names were put forward by whānau and tamariki then a vote took place. The waka was officially named “Te Hekenga Rangatahi”. The kura whānau were met by Raihania Tipoki, Paddy Rimene and Joe Nuku at Ōnoke and all tamariki were able to go out and have a paddle on the water.

Once official celebrations were concluded tamariki and whānau returned to kura for a hākari. The whānau and tamariki reportedly enjoyed their time and look forward to the fruits of ‘te tau hōu Māori’.

Photo Credit: Deborah Davidson and Pip Rimene.

Matariki Celebrations in Tamaki Nui Ā Rua


This year the Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui Ā Rua Inc. decided to celebrate Matariki over the month of July along with Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua and Te Kāuru.
Kick off was at 6am on the 26th of June with the ignition of Te Ahikā o Mahuika, followed by karanga from our hākui to poroporoaki ki ngā mate and to acknowledge the year that has been.
The morning concluded with a beautifully cooked breakfast at the Kura.
Friday night was hosted by our tamariki and their teacher, Hākui Riria Paewai from Akomanga Ruahine with a pō kanikani(disco) enjoyed by all in attendance.

Events on in our rohe during Matariki

Pūkaha Junior Rangers

Pūkaha Junior Rangers is a school holiday programme with a conservation focus. It’s a chance for 5-14 year olds to experience hands on learning in Pūkaha’s nature reserve. Junior Rangers will help prepare food for our manu and feed the tuna. Learn about the ngahere and how Pūkaha’s captive breeding programme is helping to protect and restore Aotearoa’s unique flora and fauna. Price is $30 per day and includes lunch (caters for all diets). Learn more: info@pukaha.org.nz or ph 06 375 8004

When: Mon 6 Jul – Fri 10 Jul 2020, 11:00am–3:00pm
Where: Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre

Matariki @ Aratoi for the whole whānau

Educators Becky and Kate have taken over a whole gallery space to create a fantastic play space to draw, create, weave, and build. Along with Imagination Playground loaned from our friends at the Dowse, you will find it hard to leave! This is a FREE play space for the holidays! Aratoi provides a drop-in activity space so you will need to supervise your own tamariki. No bookings required, but please let them know if you have a large group.

When: Starts Saturday 4th July – Sunday 19th July, 10am – 4pm
Where: Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, 12 Bruce St, Masterton, Wairarapa


Register online at our website tumaira.iwi.nz