Manawatia a Matariki

Photo: Stephen Rahn in Space

The rising of Matariki (a cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades) marks the beginning of the Māori New Year. It is a time to reflect, to connect with whānau (family), with our taiao (environment), and to celebrate what has passed and what is to come.  

Matariki is made up of nine whētu (stars), each with its own purpose.

  • Matariki - The mother of the eight other stars, linked to health and wellbeing.
  • Pōhutukawa - Connected to dead and those who have passed in the last year.
  • Tupuānuku - Associated with food grown in the earth.
  • Tupuārangi - Associated with food that comes from the sky, linked to birds.
  • Waitī - Connected to fresh water and creatures in rivers, streams, and lakes.
  • Waitā - Associated with the ocean and food gathered from the sea.
  • Waipuna-ā-rangi - Connected to the rain.
  • Ururangi - Connected to the wind.
  • Hiwa-i-te-rangi - Connected to the promise of a prosperous season.


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