Puanga Matariki

Published on July 11, 2023

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Nau mai, haere mai ki te whakanui i a Puanga rāua ko Matariki. Celebrate with us the rising of Matariki and the beginning of the Māori New Year.

A time of reflection and celebration, Matariki begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster and marks the Māori New Year. 

Horowhenua will host a number of fun events and activities for all ages and backgrounds to learn more about, and enjoy, Matariki and you are warmly invited. 

Matariki is an abbreviation of ‘Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea (‘The eyes of the god Tāwhirimātea’) and refers to a large cluster of stars, known in European tradition as the Pleiades. According to Māori tradition, the god of the wind, Tāwhirimātea, was so angry when his siblings separated their parents, Ranginui the sky father and Papatūānuku the earth mother, that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens. 

Matariki is a time to reflect, to be thankful to the gods for the harvest, to feast and to share the bounty of the harvest with family and friends. It is a time to acknowledge and mourn loved ones lost during the year, and to release their spirits to become stars. 

Iwi across Aotearoa New Zealand understand and celebrate Matariki in different ways and at different times. 

In Horowhenua, Matariki celebrations will take place between 14 June and 22 July. Gather with your hapori, friends and whānau at one or more of the community events bought to you by Horowhenua District Council in partnership with Muaūpoko Tribal Authority and Te Tūmatakahuki. There’s something for everyone.