Ngā Whetū o Matariki


Traditionally Māori used the rising of Matariki as a marker for the New Year. For the first time in Aotearoa it will be officially recognised and celebrated as a public holiday.

How many stars are in the cluster?
It depends on the culture and location. Across the world some have 6, others 7 some have 9 and some even have 12. In Aotearoa some believe there are 7 stars in Matariki while others say there are 9

What are the names of the stars that make up the Matariki cluster and what does each star represent?
Matariki (f) connected to health and wellbeing and is also the Mother to the other stars in the cluster
Pōhutakawa (f) connected to those who have passed on, in particular those that have passed since the last rising of Matariki
Tupuānuku (f) connected to food grown in the ground (eg kumara etc)
Tupuārangi (m) connected to food from the sky (eg birds etc)
Waitī (f) connected to fresh water food (eg tuna etc)
Waitā (m) connected to salt water food (eg fish etc)
Waipunarangi (f) connected to rain
Ururangi (m) connected to winds
Hiwa-i-te rangi (f) connected to your dreams and desires for the year ahead

Why do the dates for Matariki change each year?
Matariki follows a lunar calendar system which is different to our modern solar calendar, so the Matariki dates change each year, just like Easter

How was Matariki traditionally celebrated?
During the correct lunar phase of the correct lunar month Māori would welcome in the New Year with a ceremony called Whāngai i te Hautapu. This is where they would perform a series of karakia and cook food from the environment as an offering to the stars for the bounties given to us from the year that had passed. After the formal ceremony Māori would gather to feast, play games, plan and prep for the year ahead

How can we celebrate Matariki today?
While in some areas of Aotearoa there are still formal ceremonies happening, celebrating Matariki can be as simple as having a shared feast with whānau and friends celebrating who we are and where we are at the present time, remembering those that have passed since the last rising of Matariki and planning for the year ahead

Why do some regions use other stars as their marker for the New Year?
Different iwi use different stars as markers that tell them when they should celebrate the New Year. Some iwi use Puanga some Rehua while others use Atutahi

How do I say Happy New Year for the Māori New Year?
Mānawatia a Matariki

Credit/Reference: For more information about Māori astronomy check out "Living by the stars with Professor Rangi Matamua" on Facebook

Featured Video: Matariki i te pō
"I roto i te pō te māramatanga e whiti ana" 

Matariki i te pō

Matariki i te pō
Tihāngaia te pō
He tauira i te pō
I nā rā, e ara, Matariki e

Matariki i te pō
Tīaho mai i te pō
Te karere o te Ao
Haehae mai rā i te pō
E ōkiōki ana
Matariki ki te whenua

Matariki i te ao, Matariki i te ao
Te kanapu i te ao, Te Kanapu i te ao
Te kaiora o Hauhake, Kaiora o Hauhake
Karanga o Hōtokē, karanga o Hōtoke
E ataata ana
Matariki e arā

Taku ihi wehi wana auē

Tipuānuku, Tipuārangi, Waitā, Waitī, Waipunārangi
Ko Ururangi, Ko Matariki, Ko Pōhutukawa, Ko Hiwa-i-te-Rangi e
Ngā whetū o te rangi ko Matariki

Matariki i te pō
Matariki i te ao
He hokinga mahara
Hei anga whakamua
He oranga wairua
Ko Matariki e ara


Auē ko Matariki auē Matariki e
Ko Matariki auē Matariki e
Ko Matariki auē Matariki e
Ko Matariki auē ko Matariki auē Matariki e
Ngā whetū o te rangi ko Matariki

Purchase Album:

Written by Maisey Rika
Music composition by Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper and Maisey Rika
Mastering by Oliver Harmer -LAB Studios
Video Director: Abe Mora
Camera: Abe Mora and Dan Hart
Animation by Mikey Rockwell
'Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea' Album Artwork/Photography - Shae Sterling
Album Distribution: First Nation Music - Aotearoa and DRM NZ
Nā Te Māngai Pāho te pūtea tautoko

Tāwhirimātea - Horomona Horo
Matariki - Regan Balzer
Tipuānuku - Erica Ransfield
Tipuārangi - Tama-te-Rerewa Koopu
Waitī - Katarina Ngamoki-Rika
Waitā - Bossy Hill
Waipunārangi - Te Rina Ransfield
Ururangi - Heemi Hill
Pōhutukawa - Jose Clarke
Hiwa-i-te-Rangi - Erena Koopu
JJ Rika, Iraia and Legend + Kawerau Youth
Mereana Hill + Haumene Ransfield-Hill
Makeo Rika-Hill

Dr. Rangi Matamua for your inspiration, consultation and aroha mō ngā kaupapa o Matariki.
Kaakahu and taonga designers - Toi Māori, Lacey Bartlett, Kiri Nathan, Nichola Te Kiri, Tangimoe Clay, Shona Tāwhiao, Corey Masters, Ngaoa Masters, Tracey Morgan, Mervyn Hikuroa (Pa), Parekōhai Hikuroa-Peck, Michelle Kerr and Tahiti shells.
Makeup - Laura Chesh Kara
Artists - Te Haunui Tuna, Te Wehi Preston and Raniera Ngātai-Hill
Thanks to Mercia Yates, Eraia Kiel, Kasey Tāwhara and whānau for your tautoko
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Monday, 15 July 2024

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