Matariki shining a light on mātauranga Māori

Matariki hunga nui – Matariki brings us together

It’s exciting to be part of living history with the first Matariki public holiday being officially recognised in Aotearoa this year.

While the celebration may be a little late in the game for some, it’s a great step to help recognise and celebrate te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge).

Matariki marks the beginning of the Māori new year within the maramataka Māori (Māori lunar calendar) with the rising of Te Iwa o te Matariki (Matariki star cluster). It will be celebrated on Friday, 24 June 2022.

It’s an important time to remember those who have passed since the last rising of Matariki, celebrate the present by gathering with whānau and friends and to look forward to the future.

But we don’t have to wait for events like Matariki, Waitangi Day or Te Wiki o te reo Māori to celebrate our country’s culture.

There are heaps of things we can do to help bring Māoritanga and elements of te ao Māori into our everyday lives. Here are some ways you, your team, and your whānau can get started:

  • Special karakia to celebrate Matariki Encourage people around you to start using greetings in their everyday conversations — a simple kia ora can go a long way
  • You can open and close your team hui (meetings) with karakia (prayer) — you can use this special karakia to celebrate Matariki
  • Help normalise te reo Māori and practice some basic kupu (words) like kai (food), mahi (work) and kapai (good)
  • Learn and practise your pepeha with some of the great online tools available
  • Sign up to learn a new word each day by email with Kupu o te Rā
  • Learn more about Matariki and ways whānau celebrate the event.

Most importantly, if you’re unsure about something, kaua e whakamā, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

We can all help to bring Māori culture to life, and now is the perfect time to start (if you haven’t already). Karawhiua — give it a go!