Matariki - the Māori New Year

A DigitalNZ Story by Zokoroa

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars, also known as the Pleiades, that herald in the New Year around June-July. An overview of traditional knowledge and contemporary celebrations is given, together with suggestions for activities.

Matariki, Pleiades, stars, sky, New Year, moon, celebrations, festivals, holidays, Rangi, Papa, astronomy, Maori

Matariki - the Māori New year

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars that rises in midwinter in the constellation of Taurus.  For many Māori, Matariki signals the start of  Te Mātahi o te Tau, the Māori New Year . It is a time to remember those who've passed since the last rising of Matariki, to celebrate the present, and to look to the future.   

Beginning in 2022 on Friday 24 June, Matariki is to be marked by a public holiday set annually until 2052 by Te Pire mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o te Kāhui o Matariki/Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill, which passed its third reading on 6 April 2022 and became law.  The holiday date falls on the Friday closest to the four days of the nights of Tangaroa - when the last quarter-moon rises - in the lunar month of Piripi, which usually falls from late June to mid-July.  

Check your local Council's website/Facebook pages for Matariki celebrations that you and your community can be part of each year.  

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars that rises in midwinter in the constellation of Taurus

Matariki

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Matariki, for many Māori, signals the start of Te Mātahi o te Tau, the Māori New Year

It is a time to celebrate life, remember those who've passed and to plan for the future

Celebrating Matariki : a story from New Zealand

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Beginning in 2022, Matariki is marked by a public holiday set annually until 2053

Holiday is on the Friday closest to Tangaroa lunar phase - when last quarter-moon rises - of Piripi (between June-July)

The Pleiades

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Astrophotographs

Seven Sisters or Pleiades

Services to Schools

Matariki known by different names by other cultures:

The Matariki star cluster is known by different names by other cultures. Pleiades is the common name in Western culture and was derived from Greek mythology. The Pleiades were the seven daughters of the titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione. Zeus immortalised the sisters by turning them into doves and then into stars to form the Pleiades in the Taurus constellation.  The Hawaiian name is Makali‘i, or ‘eyes of royalty’, and in Japan it is Subaru, meaning ‘gathered together’.  To find out more about other cultures, see Wikipedia's article: Pleiades in folklore and literature.

The star cluster is known by different names by other cultures

Pleiades (Greek, & English & other western countries), Makali‘i (Hawaiian) & Subaru (Japanese)

THE PLEIADES, BY PBOiPESSOE E. E. BAENAED. ■' (Evening Post, 23 January 1931)

National Library of New Zealand

Traditional Māori knowledge and Matariki

According to traditional Māori knowledge, Ranginui (the sky father) and Papatūānuku (the earth mother) were separated from their eternal embrace by their children. The children (all sons) had lived cramped together in the darkness between their parents and wanted more freedom to be able to move around. One brother, Tūmatūenga (god of war and people), had suggested that they slay their parents. However, Tāne Mahuta (god of the forests) suggested that they separate their parents forever. All the brothers agreed, except for Tawhirimatea (god of weather).   

Rangi (Sky) and Papa (Earth)

were separated by their children so that they would no longer live in darkness

Papatūānuku and Ranginui

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Carving of Rangi, Papa and other gods by Cliff Whiting

(A mural at the National Library of New Zealand, Wellington)

‘Te wehenga o Rangi rāua ko Papa’

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rangi and Papa's children

Clockwise from top: Tāne Mahuta, Tūmatauenga, Tangaroa, Haumia-tiketike, Rūaumoko, Rongomātāne, Tāwhirimātea

Gods of the natural world

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Separation of Rangi and Papa:

Tāne Mahuta was able to separate their parents by lying on his back and using his legs to push their father Rangi higher into the sky. Angry at his brothers, Tāwhirimātea joined Rangi in the skies and, together, they plotted revenge against them. (See Te Ara article on how the four winds, rain and hail were used.) During the stormy weather, Tūmatauenga stood firm and developed incantations for calm weather.  

Tāne Mahuta, god of forests, raised Rangi

Tāne separating Rangi and Papa

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Tāwhirimātea, god of weather, fought his brothers

Tāwhirimātea, god of weather

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Tūmatauenga, god of war & people, calmed the storms

Tūmatauenga

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Matariki - the Eyes of the God:

In pain at the separation of his parents, Tāwhirimātea gouged out his eyes and threw the pieces into the Milky Way galaxy.  Matariki has been thought to mean either the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). However, according to Dr Rangi Mātāmua, there are no stories to support the meaning 'little eyes'. Rather, Matariki is an abbreviation of ‘Ngā Mata o te Ariki’ – 'The Eyes of the God'  Tāwhirimātea. 

Tāwhirimātea gouged out his eyes

Tāwhirimātea

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Milky Way galaxy

The Milky Way, Pointers and Southern Cross

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Matariki

Matariki (the Pleiades)

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rangi and Papa - videos:

The story of Rangi and Papa has been retold in animated videos. See examples below. There is also a Youtube clip by Auckland Libraries: Matariki [Ngā mata o te ariki, o Tāwhirimātea: The eyes of the god, Tāwhirimātea]  

A Matariki story

Radio New Zealand

Matariki

Services to Schools

How Matariki was formed

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

RANGI AND PAPA - DIGITISED STORIES:

The story of Rangi and Papa has also been retold in written stories. The following can be read online: 

  • New Zealand Electronic Text Collection (NZETC) has the following titles by Sir George Grey, Elsdon Best and James Cowan which can be read online.

Sir George Grey (1885)

(Read online at NZETC)

Front Cover - Polynesian Mythology and Ancient Traditional History of the New Zealand Race

Victoria University of Wellington

Elsdon Best (1924)

(Read online at NZETC)

The Separation of Rangi and Papa - Maori Religion and Mythology Part 1

Victoria University of Wellington

James Cowan (1987)

(Read online at NZETC)

Chapter I. Rangi and Papa: The Separation of Heaven and Earth - Legends of the Maori

Victoria University of Wellington

Matariki and Māori astronomy

Traditional accounts and star lore have been captured in Elsdon Best's The astronomical knowledge of the Maori (1922) through interviews with iwi. One of the contributors was astronomer Te Kōkau Himiona Te Pikikōtukua who had begun compiling a 400-page manuscript with his son Rāwiri Te Kōkau in Ruatāhuna from 1898. It was completed by Rāwiri in 1933 and handed down from grandson to grandson, whereby Dr Rangi Mātāmua carried out further research and published the book Matariki, The Star of the Year in 2017. The knowledge of the elders during the nineteenth century from the East Coast of Te Ika-a-Maui (North Island) has also been researched and published in Work of the Gods: Tātai Arorangi - Māori astronomy by Kay Leather and Richard Hall (2004).  

Matariki - seven or nine stars?:

Most commonly known in Western culture as the Pleiades or “seven sisters” of Greek myth, this cluster of stars is said to number seven or more stars. One of the popular versions is that the star Matariki is the whaea (mother), surrounded by her six daughters, Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Waipuna-ā-rangi, Waitī and Waitā, and Ururangi.  (See Te Papa website.) 

Dr. Rangi Mātāmua, however, says there are nine stars  in te kāhuia o Matariki (the cluster of Matariki) -  Matariki, Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Waipuna-ā-rangi, Waitī, Waitā, Ururangi, Pōhutukawa, and Hiwa-i-te-rangi ( see Te Karere TVNZ interview). Viewing with the naked eye, between 7 and 14 stars of the over 1000 stars within this cluster have been seen.  

Matariki: 7 stars

Matariki

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The meaning of the 9 stars:

Te Papa: Matariki: The Māori New Year gives the following information:

  • Matariki is the star that signifies reflection,  hope, our connection to the environment, and the gathering of people.  Matariki is also connected to the health and wellbeing of people.
  • Waitī is associated with all fresh water bodies and the food sources that are sustained by those waters.
  • Waitā is associated with the ocean, and food sources within it.
  • Waipuna-ā-rangi is associated with the rain.
  • Tupuānuku is the star associated with everything that grows within the soil to be harvested or gathered for food.
  • Tupuārangi is associated with everything that grows up in the trees: fruits, berries, and birds.
  • Ururangi is the star associated with the winds.
  • Pōhutukawa is the star associated with those that have passed on.
  • Hiwa-i-te-rangi is the star associated with granting our wishes, and realising our aspirations for the coming year.

Also see Christchurch City Libraries - Tīrama Mai - Matariki which has posters and information about each of the stars. 

Matariki: 9 stars

Matariki Y6-9 1st place winner Sam

Christchurch City Libraries

MARAMATAKA - MĀORI LUNAR calendar 

The Māori lunar calendar, called  Maramataka ("the moon turning") has 354 days, whereas the Gregorian calendar used by New Zealand and other Western countries, has an average number of 365.2422 days (taking Leap Year into account), The Gregorian calendar is based on the  number of 'solar' days the Earth takes to revolve around the  sun.  (See: Wikipedia: Gregorian calendar)

Each phase of the moon was named and each typical year was marked by the passage of 12 or 13 lunar months (depending on the iwi).  The Māori calendar begins in Pipiri (June/July) with the reappearance of the Matariki star cluster signalling the New Year.  A lunar month is the 29.53 days between new moons, and normally straddles two calendar months of the Gregorian calendar.  

Tūtakangahau, a Ngāi Tūhoe chief from Maungapōhatu, provided the ethnographer Elsdon Best with these names and descriptions:

  • Pipiri (May–June):  Ka pipiri ngā mea katoa i te whenua i te mātao, me te tangata.  All things on earth are contracted because of the cold; likewise man.
  • Hongonui (June–July): Kua tino mātao te tangata, me te tahutahu ahi, ka pāinaina.  Man is now extremely cold, and so kindles fires before which he basks.
  • Here-turi-kōkā (July–August): Kua kitea te kainga a te ahi i ngā turi o te tangata.  The scorching effect of fire on the knees of man is seen.
  • Mahuru (August–September): Kua pūmahana te whenua, me ngā otaota, me ngā rākau.   The earth has now acquired warmth, as also have herbage and trees.
  • Whiringa-ā-nuku (September–October): Kua tino māhana te whenua. The earth has now become quite warm.
  • Whiringa-ā-rangi (October–November): Kua raumati, kua kaha te rā. It has now become summer, and the sun has acquired strength.
  • Hakihea (November–December): Kua noho ngā manu kai roto i te kōhanga. Birds are now sitting in their nests.
  • Kohi-tātea (December–January): Kua makuru te kai: ka kai te tangata i ngā kai hou o te tau. Fruits are now ripe and man eats the new food of the season.
  • Hui-tanguru (January–February): Kua tau te waewae o Ruhi kai whenua. The foot of Ruhi (a summer star) now rests upon the earth.
  • Poutū-te-rangi (February–March): Kua hauhake te kai. The crops are now harvested.
  • Paenga-whāwhā (March–April): Kua putu ngā tupu o ngā kai i ngā paenga o ngā māra. All straw is now stacked at the borders of the plantations.
  • Haratua (April–May): Kua uru ngā kai kai te rua, kua mutu ngā mahi a te tangata. Crops are now stored in pits. The tasks of man are finished.

Source:  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: What is the Maramataka | the Māori lunar calendar?

Maramataka: lunar calendar

Maramataka – the lunar calendar: Lunar months

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Matariki and The New Year - Te Tau Hou 

At the time of the Māori new year in Pipiri (May - June), Te Waka o Tamarereti (the great waka of Tamarereti) can be seen in the south. The waka is called Uruao. Tautoru (Orion's Belt) forms the stern, the tail of Scorpius is the prow, and Māhutonga (the Southern Cross) is the anchor and Te Taura o te Waka o Tamarēreti (the Pointers) are the anchor rope. 

Matariki in the night sky

Night sky in summer

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Locating Matariki:

To find the Matariki star cluster in the night sky, start with the Southern Cross and track east to three bright stars aligned in a row. This constellation is known as Orion's belt or Tautoru.  See Youtube video How to find the Matariki star cluster with Martin Langdon from Te Papa's Learning Team.  

How to find the Matariki star cluster

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Matariki or Puanga - the start of the New Year

Puanga is the first star to appear on the horizon, signalling that in three days Matariki would rise. For some iwi, Puanga  (Puaka) – Rigel is the star that heralds the New Year as it always rises before Matariki (e.g. Taranaki and Whanganui iwi, and some on the West Coast of the South Island).  However, for some iwi, Matariki marks the start of the New Year. For some Māori the first new moon after the rise of Matariki signals the start of the New Year celebrations. The moon (Marama)  is seen as the start for all things new and guides the activities for the planting and harvesting of kai on the land and at sea. 

Dawn rising - Astronomer Richard Hall

Matariki

Radio New Zealand

Taranaki Māori celebrate Puanga - their version of Matariki, 2015

Taranaki Māori celebrate Puanga

Radio New Zealand

Māori New Year - when does it start?

The rising of Matariki takes place at pre-dawn during the last quarter of the moon cycle known as the Tangaroa nights of the moon.  Unlike the Western world, this can vary from year to year but is always in the cold months from May to July. According to Dr. Rangi Mātāmua, Pleiades sets between May-June when the land sleeps, freezes over and lies idle. The setting of Matariki is known as Mātahi kari pīwai. Then around June to July, Matariki appears on the horizon at the pre-dawn of the day that signals the New Year. The Sun had travelled North and Matariki has gone to guide it back to the East to bring warmer weather. The rising of Matariki is known as Mātahi o te tau. The current year's dates can be viewed on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's website.     

Timing of Matariki - rises in last quarter of Tangaroa

the maori year - The Maori Division of Time

Victoria University of Wellington

Moon cycle

Phases of the moon

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Matariki - spiritual connections

Matariki is a time for Māori to welcome the New Year and give thanks for the many blessings they had, while remembering those that had gone before them. It is usually associated with:

  • remembrance -  — honouring those who have died since the last rising of Matariki 
  • celebrating the present -  gathering together with family and friends 
  • looking to the future — rebirth and regeneration as the seasons move towards warmer months of a new year. 

Find out more:

  • Values for Matariki Celebrations: Matariki Advisory Committee. Prepared by Professor Rangi Matamua on behalf of the Matariki Advisory Committee. Final Report V2 - 21 May 2021. (Outlines the three major principles and and the twelve key values of Matariki.)  
  • Matariki Te Whetū o te Tau: Videoed seminar with Dr Rangi Matamua and Living by the Stars & CORE Education, 29 June 2021 (Youtube:1:29:49)

Matariki - Time of remembrance:

When Matariki rises in the pre-dawn sky, it is a time for people to come together to honour those who have died since the last rising of Matariki and to acknowledge the year gone by. The ceremony usually took place on a high vantage point. A small hāngī would be prepared while waiting for Matariki to rise. The first sighting of Matariki was greeted with karakia and then the Tohunga Kōkōrangi would read the tohu. A fire would then be lit and those that had passed the previous year acknowledged with weeping and the reciting of the names of the departed. 

Dawn ceremonies

Maori celebrate Matariki

Radio New Zealand

Matariki: Cycles of life & death

Matariki – Māori New Year: Cycles of life and death

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Tangihana

Whakapapa Birth & Death

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

As recounted in a Te Papa podcast with Dr. Rangi Mātāmua, the constellation Te Waka o Rangi is a canoe with Matariki at the front and Tautoru (Orion’s belt) at the back. It is captained by Taramainuku who casts his net Te Kupenga a Taramainuku down to earth to gather the souls of the people who died that day. He carries them along behind his waka for eleven months until May when the waka sets on the West Coast with the Sun. He then takes them to the underworld where they remain for a month. When Matariki rises again a month later, Taramainuku releases the souls of the dead into the sky to become stars. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the hāngī would be opened allowing the steam to rise up and give sustenance to those who had become stars. As well as a time of remembrance, Matariki is also a time to start letting go of grief and begin anew.   

Goddess of the Underworld

Hine-nui-te-pō

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

MATARIKI - TIME TO CELEBRATE THE PRESENT:

Matariki is also a time to celebrate the present by the gathering of family and friends. 

Matariki celebrations

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Matariki - Time to look to the future (rebirth and regeneration):

Matariki is also a time for looking ahead to the coming year.  Tohunga would observe the stars and take meaning from each star's position, movement, colour and brightness to foretell the future. Puanga foretells the fortunes of the coming of the New Year by his appearance and placement when he first rises after the first new moon. Matariki confirms this through her placement and appearance when she appears three days later.   

Tohunga looked to Matariki to predict if the next harvest would be abundant. If a star is brighter and clearer that the others stars, the warmer the growing season would be, ensuring a good crop would be harvested from that source. If a star is hazy or missing, there will be negative outcomes for the coming year as represented by that star. 

To read the stars for what the year ahead will bring, Matariki must be read when the moon is in Tangaroa at the end of its third quarter and into the last quarter. 

Harvesting fish:

Fishing with the Māori Calendar

Te Manu Korihi News for 28 November 2014

Radio New Zealand

Planting by the moon:

Maramataka – the lunar calendar: Planting and fishing

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

- (Te Ao Hou - No. 60 September 1967)

Alexander Turnbull Library

Growing native plants, potato and kumara:

Planting the Crop - Maori Agriculture

Victoria University of Wellington

Matariki: Native Plants with horticulturalist Char Wiapo

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Te Oha storehouse

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Celebrating traditional kai during Matariki festivities:

Matariki 2009

Tourism New Zealand

Matariki 2010

World On Your Plate: Maori

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Matariki traditions and contemporary culture  

Matariki celebrations were popular for Māori in pre-European times. The festivals continued into the 1900s but were reported to have waned during the 1940s. (See articles below on 'Matariki - Māori New Year: Modern Matariki" by the Ministry for Culture and History, and  "Matariki' published in Te Ao Ho.) However, the beginning of this century has seen a revival in celebrations. The traditions of Matariki and their place in contemporary culture have been explored in various forums - What does it mean to people in today's society?  

Article by Te Ara on dwindling popularity of Matariki celebrations by the 1900s & resurgence since early 21st Century

Matariki – Te Tau Hou Māori: Modern Matariki

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Article by Harry Dansey on examples of customs that were observed, 1967

Matariki - (Te Ao Hou - No. 61 December 1967)

Alexander Turnbull Library

Research paper on Matariki by Ann Hardy, 2011

Matariki, commodity culture, and multiple identities

University of Waikato

Experts in Māori astronomy say the annual event has no connection to its traditional meaning, 2010

Matariki has no connection to its traditional meaning

Radio New Zealand

Panel discussion: Matariki and contemporary culture

Matariki 2011 - LATE at the Museum

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Range of Matariki activities include Beyonce-poi, opera and kapa haka fused with crumping

A modern take on Matariki celebrations

Radio New Zealand

Cross-cultural involvement 

Cross-cultural involvement has also increasingly taken place.  

Cross-cultural involvement

Hindu and Māori culture

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

journey to Matariki becoming a Public holiday in 2022

Over the years, there have been suggestions that Matariki should be marked by a public holiday. 

Matariki Holiday Bill unsuccessful, 2009:

A Bill introduced to Parliament in 2009 failed to get political support.  

Bill before Parliament in 2009 failed to get political support for a public holiday

Matariki holiday not supported

Radio New Zealand

Ongoing public opinion:

Replace Guy Fawkes with Matariki?

Wellington proposes (2017) to replace Guy Fawkes with Matariki in 2018

Should we ditch Guy Fawkes for Matariki?

TV3

Opinion

Opinion expressed in The Spinoff, June 2018

Matariki public holiday will happen... eventually

Radio New Zealand

Labour's Māori Party caucus

A proposal to make Mātariki a national holiday was being weighed up by the Labour Party's Māori caucus, 2018

Labour's Māori caucus weighing up Mātariki public holiday

Radio New Zealand

Ongoing public discussion, 2019

Matariki as a public holiday

Radio New Zealand

Petition launched 2020:

After Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said the government was considering more public holidays to help encourage domestic tourism, a petition in favour of Matariki was launched in 2020.   

Government considering more public holidays, 2020

Prime Minister doesn't rule out having more public holidays, leading to Matariki being suggested

Calls for Matariki to be new public holiday

Radio New Zealand

One-off holiday suggested (May 2020)

Suggestion Matariki to be a one-off holiday during 2020 (Newshub, 20 May 2020)

Make Matariki the one-off public holiday on July 13 this year - Patrick Gower

TV3

Petition

Petition organiser Laura O'Connell-Rapira gathered over 2500 signatures for Matariki holiday by May 2020

Petition launched to make Matariki a public holiday

Radio New Zealand

Survey

ActionStation survey of 1,128 people found 63% supportive

The people have spoken: we want a Matariki public holiday

The Spinoff

Matariki public holiday announcement for 2022:

On 7 September 2020, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden pledged to make Matariki a public holiday if the Labour Party were re-elected in the 2020 general election.  Following re-election, Ardern announced on 4 February 2021 that Matariki would begin to be celebrated as a public holiday on Friday 24 June 2022.  The timing of the holiday to change from year to year and fall on a Monday or Friday.  The Matariki Advisory Group was established to provide advice on future dates of the public holiday in consultation with iwi.  On 2 July 2021, the day the constellation rose, Ardern announced the proposed dates for the next 30 years, beginning with the previously announced observance on Friday 24 June 2022.

If Labour re-elected in 2020, PM promises Matariki to be a public holiday

ELECTION 2020 | Labour promises to make Matariki a public holiday | RNZ

Radio New Zealand

Matariki Advisory Group established

Advisory Group establish to propose dates for the next 30 years in consultation with iwi

Matariki Advisory Group chair on how to mark the holiday

Radio New Zealand

Announcement (Feb 2021): First Matariki public holiday to be on Fri 24 June 2022

The observance date was announced by Prime Minister Ardern on 4 Feb 2021

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals date of first Matariki public holiday

Radio New Zealand

Opinion (July 2021): Matariki not to be commercialised

Writer & social activist Qiane Matata-Sipu says Matariki shouldn't be Westernised & commercialised

Matariki shouldn't be dominated by commercialisation, Western ideas once it's a public holiday - social activist

TV3

Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill became law,  7 April 2022

The Te Pire mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o te Kāhui o Matariki/Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill  was introduced to Parliament on 27 September 2021 by Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. It  passed its first reading on 30 September 2021  and second reading on 29 March 2022.  

The Bill passed its third reading on 7 April 2022 and became law.  It was supported by the Labour, Green, and Māori parties but was opposed by the National and ACT parties. National MP Pual Goldsmith argued that Matariki should replace one of the other 11 public holidays to reduce associated costs.  ACT's Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie claimed that having a new public holiday would cost businesses and quoted MBIE estimate of $450 million.  Kiri Allen counter-argued that research shows that public holidays reduced employee stress and burnout while boosting hospitality and tourism. 

Sources:

Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill made law (7 April 2022)

The bill passed its 1st reading on 29 Sept 2021 and its 3rd reading on 7 April 2022 and was made law

Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill passes first reading

Radio New Zealand

Matariki celebrations 

Festivals and exhibitions have been held to increase knowledge about the traditional astronomy and spiritual connections that underpins the Māori New Year. The Waikato Museum's Te Whānau Marama: The Heavenly Bodies Exhibition (2016 - 2018) featured a sound and light show. Other museums, public libraries, organisations, schools/kura and local communities have also held a range of activities. Artistic works, music, drama, stories and film have been created in celebration of Matariki.   

Toa Waaka takes us through the Carter's Observatory in Wellington to discuss Matariki & Māori myths and legends

Matariki: Behind the celebration

Radio New Zealand

Awanui Black describes how the people of Tauranga Moana celebrated Matariki. (Te Ara, 2006)

Tauranga Moana celebrations

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Waikato Museum's sound and light Matariki exhibition (2016 - 2018)

Exhibition shines light on Māori star lore

Radio New Zealand

The following types of activities are held to celebrate Matariki. For further ideas and creative inspiration, see the array of images available on DigitalNZ which are added to each year.  

Storytelling Festivals:

Matariki stories

Christchurch City Libraries

Story blanket display at Rehua

Christchurch City Libraries

Matariki display at Tūranga

Christchurch City Libraries

Nga manu tukutuku e whitu o Matariki

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

The seven kites of Matariki

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Matariki 2016: Kōrero | Storytelling

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Poetry:

One of the poems submitted to Christchurch City Libraries during Matariki, 2020. Others can be accessed on DigitalNZ.

Ode to Matariki

Christchurch City Libraries

Music:

Waiata: Ngā Tamariki o Matariki (Audio with words on screen)

Matariki waiata

Services to Schools

Manarangi Mua performing at Rangatahi Represent, during Matariki 2012 celebrations at Te Papa

Matariki 2012 Rangatahi Represent: Manarangi Mua

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Modern Maori Quartet talk about their song Māreikura created to celebrate Matariki

Modern Maori Quartet talk about their song Māreikura

Radio New Zealand

Music reviewer Kirsten Johnstone shares Matariki tunes, including from Whirimako Black & Dunedin rangatahi He Waka Kotu

Music for Matariki

Radio New Zealand

NZ Symphony Orchestra performs 'The glittering hosts of heaven' composed by Eve de Castro-Robinson

The glittering hosts of heaven

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Matariki for string quartet by Natalie Hunt

Natalie Hunt: Matariki - downloadable PDF SCORE and PARTS

SOUNZ

Music video for Matariki performed by Hinewehi Mohi. includes an animation of the constellation & performance by a wero

Hinewehi Mohi. Matariki

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Performing arts:

Whirimako Black - LATE at the Museum

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Hoon Hay School Kapa Haka performance

Christchurch City Libraries

RANGI & PAPA. AOTEA CENTRE

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Film:

MATARIKI [TRAILER]

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Paintings, Images, sculpture, carvings:

Painting by Star Gossage (2014)

Matariki

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Matariki Y1-5 1st place winner Gariel

Christchurch City Libraries

Matariki window art, Fendalton Library

Christchurch City Libraries

Image for June from Ngā Marama o te Tau, a Māori calendar published by Te Puna Publications. 1990

'Nga Marama o te Tau', Hune 1990

Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

New Zealand Post's $2.30 stamp from their 2009 Matariki issue

Hei Tiki Matariki stamp

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Sculpture by Brett Graham explores the themes of creation, growth and knowledge (1994)

‘Te Matariki’

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Contemporary carving

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Kingitanga coat of arms: Door of Māhinārangi meeting house at Tūrangawaewae marae, Ngāruawāhia

Te Paki-o-Matariki

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Weaving arts:

Tukutuku Panel named 'Matariki'

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Tukutuku panel 3

Christchurch City Libraries

Matariki yarn stars

Christchurch City Libraries

Matariki star weaving

Christchurch City Libraries

Otago Museum's webpage Weaving stars - Whetū  has suggestions for reusing recycled materials to create stars - harakeke, ribbon, strips of fabric,  craft paper, pages from old magazines and plastic strips that come around boxes. 

Matariki star weaving at Hornby

Christchurch City Libraries

Matariki woven star, Tūranga

Christchurch City Libraries

Craftwork:  

Matariki crafts

Christchurch City Libraries

Matariki Art

Christchurch City Libraries

Matariki toi - Manu tukutuku

Christchurch City Libraries

Kites:

Youtube: How to Make Manu Tukutuku (2.57 mins)

How to make a Manu Tukukuku

Services to Schools

Kite-making materials

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Fireworks are ill-advised:

Some Councils have held fireworks displays. However, a Matariki Advisory Committee has stated that fireworks are ill-advised due to Mana Taiao-environmental awareness - fireworks pollute the dark sky with light and noise, and often pollute the ocean with debris.  (See: Values for Matariki Celebrations: Matariki Advisory Committee. Prepared by Professor Rangi Matamua on behalf of the Matariki Advisory Committee. Final Report V2 - 21 May 2021)  

A Matariki Advisory Group has stated fireworks are ill-advised for the environment (May 2021)

New Year with a bang

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Preserving and revitalising Māori astronomy

Initiatives include the Society of Māori Astronomy Research and Traditions (SMART), which was formed in 2009 to collect, preserve and revitalise Māori astronomical knowledge that might otherwise be lost. Marsden funding has also enabled research to be carried out for the three-year 'Te Mauria Whiritoi: The sky' study at the University of Waikato.

Society of Māori Astronomy and Research (SMART)

Tātai arorangi

Science Learning Hub

Waikato University study 'Te Mauria Whiritoi: The Sky'

Māori astronomer Rangi Matamua on Matariki

Radio New Zealand

Interview with Dr Pauline Harris, astrophysicist and astronomer

Māori star lore

Radio New Zealand

Astrophotography

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

The Hui (July 2020)

The Hui looks at the resurgence of the Māori lunar calendar, Matariki & Māori science

The resurgence and revival of Maramataka, Matariki and Māori sciences

TV3

Matariki and school curriculum activities

There is a range of activities that can be explored with students and their families.

Resource suggestions include:                                                                                                                                  

Also see the following suggestions accessible on DigitalNZ:   

Topic Explorer: Matariki

Lists digital resources compiled by National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools

Matariki

DigitalNZ

Many Answers: Matariki Y1-4

Websites and books compiled by National Library of New Zealand as part of its AnyQuestions service to schools

Matariki (junior)

National Library of New Zealand

Many Answers: Matariki Y5-8

Websites and books compiled by National Library of New Zealand as part of its AnyQuestions service to schools

Matariki

National Library of New Zealand

EPIC's databases provide access to further online resources

EPIC's databases are free for NZ schools to access. Also check which EPiC databases your public library may have access.

EPIC

Services to Schools

TKI: Matariki

Includes classroom activities that also involve iwi/hapū and community

Matariki and The New Zealand Curriculum

Services to Schools

TKI: NZMaths - Level 3

Learning of mathematics around celebrations of Matariki

Matariki – Level 3

Services to Schools

TKI: NZMaths - Level 4

Leanring of mathematics around celebrations of Matariki

Mathematics ideas in the context of Matariki

Services to Schools

TKI: Literacy Online: Matariki

Report by Waitangi Teepa about stories and beliefs, and ways Matariki is celebrated

Matariki, stories and celebration

Services to Schools

TKI: Literacy Online

Fernridge School students have created a digital light display for Matariki using Raspberry Pi computers

Lighting the sky with Raspberry Pi

Services to Schools

Matariki Waihi Wiki:

Waihi & Waihi Beach schools list their favourite resources

Matariki

Services to Schools

Christchurch City Libraries

Lists of links to online resources and websites

Matariki resources

Services to Schools

Reading stories aloud

Video of 'The Little Kiwi’s Matariki' written by Nikki Slade-Robinson being read aloud

The Little Kiwi’s Matariki

Services to Schools

School Journal

Matariki

Services to Schools

School Journal

Celebrating Puanga at Ramanui

Services to Schools

Whakataukī

Core Education - VLN Matariki: He Whakataukī

Matariki – He whakatauki

Services to Schools

Further matariki resources by other organisations:

AstroAxis

Astronomical and cultural information

Matariki

Services to Schools

Kiwi families:

Ideas for families and communities to celebrate Matariki

Kiwi families

Services to Schools

Matariki 2013 (Youtube)

An introduction to Matariki with activity suggestions for students

Matariki 2013

Services to Schools

Matariki Classroom Resources

List of classroom resources on Pinterest

Matariki classroom resources

Services to Schools

Stardome Observatory

Matariki Booklet Preschool

Stardome Observatory & Planetarium

Stardome Observatory

Matariki Booklet Primary

Stardome Observatory & Planetarium

Stardome Observatory

Matariki - A space/time guide

Stardome Observatory & Planetarium

Waitangi.org.nz

Suggestions for teacher resources

Teacher resources for Matariki

Services to Schools