During Matariki, we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect
to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.
Throughout Matariki, we learn about those who came before us. Our history,
our family, our bones.
Matariki signals growth. It's a time of change. It's a time to prepare, and a
time of action. During Matariki, we acknowledge what we have and what we have to
Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It's a celebration of culture,
language, spirit and people.
Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year.
In 2001, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori began to reclaim Matariki, or
Aotearoa Pacific New Year, as an important focus for Māori language
regeneration in partnership with Te Papa Tongarewa and the Ministry of
This year, the commission is spearheading a campaign to elevate Matariki into
an iconic national event as part of a nationwide Māori language information
programme. "Kōrero Māori", and intends to develop
relationships and partnerships in order to co-ordinate and share activities with
other stakeholders while complementing existing events.
In our view,
Matariki is much more than a festival-type event that welcomes in the New Year -
we believe it is a way of thinking and planning leading up to the sighting of
the stars followed by the next new moon.
The aim of this website is to provide you with information about Matariki, and how to identify
and celebrate it in contemporary Aotearoa. There is also a calendar of events
that tells you what others are planning and gives you some ideas for your own
rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year. The new
moon can be seen for the first time on these dates.
2005 Pipiri 08
2006 Pipiri 27
2007 Pipiri 16
2008 Pipiri 05
2009 Pipiri 24
2010 Pipiri 14
2011 Pipiri 04
2012 Pipiri 21
2013 Pipiri 10
2014 Pipiri 28
2015 Pipiri 18
2016 Pipiri 06
2017 Pipiri 25
2018 Pipiri 15
2019 Pipiri 05
2020 Pipiri 22
star cluster that heralds the start of the Aotearoa Pacific New Year, is
important to Māori and Pacific people and other cultures around the world.
Matariki is visible to the naked eye in the pre-dawn sky after the full moon
from mid to late June each year.
There are many
stories about its significance as a navigational star and also as a portent on
whether the coming harvests will be plentiful. If the stars in the cluster are
clear and bright, it is thought that the year will be warm and productive. If
they appear hazy and shimmering, cold winter is in store for us, and all
activities during the period of Matariki must take this into account.
Some say that
Matariki is the mother surrounded by her six daughters, other stories suggest
that Matariki is a male star. These are the Māori names that make up the
other six prominent stars of the Matariki cluster, Tupu-a-Nuku, Tupu-a-Rangi,
Waitī, Waitā, Waipunarangi and Ururangi.
celebrated at different times by different tribes. For some, feasts are held
when it is first seen. For others, it is the full moon after it rises that is
celebrated and for others, celebrations are centred on the dawn of the new moon.
generally refer to Matariki as Pleaides. The cluster is a group of many hundreds
of stars about 400 light years from Earth and has been recognised since ancient
times. The brightest stars are quite easy to see with the unaided eye in Greek
legend bear the names of Seven Sisters, the daughters of Atlas and Pleone,
Alcyone, Merope, Asterops, Maia, Taygeta, Calaeno and Electra.
For some tribes
Puanga or Rigel is the star that signifies the beginning of the Māori New