Matariki hunga nui
Matariki brings us together

It's time to get ready observe Matariki and acknowledge Te Mātahi o te Tau | Māori New Year.

Signified by the Matariki cluster of whetū | stars reappearing in our night sky, it’s a time to reflect on the past year, honour the dead, celebrate the present, and plan for the year ahead.

This year we’ll celebrate Matariki on Friday 28 June.

Te Iwa o Matariki

The Matariki cluster has nine whetū and each one connected to wellbeing or the environment:

  • Matariki – people’s health and wellbeing.
  • Tupu-ā-rangi – things that grow in trees, including fruits, berries, and birds.
  • Waipuna-ā-rangi – rain.
  • Waitī – freshwater bodies and foods from them.
  • Ururangi – wind.
  • Tupu-ā-nuku – food gathered and harvested from soil.
  • Waitā – the ocean and foods that come from it.
  • Pōhutukawa – those who have passed on.
  • Hiwa-i-te-rangi – attaining goals.

Matariki video

Māori astronomy

Astronomy was interwoven into all facets of Te Ao Māori before colonisation, with observations recorded and handed down from generation to generation. This included detailed obeservations of:

  • movements of the stars and planets
  • the changing position of the sun
  • phases of the moon, and
  • comets and meteors.

This knowledge was connected to seasonal activities such as planting and harvesting, plants flowering, fish spawning, and the natural cycles of the environment, guiding Māori from season to season.

Celebrating Matariki

To celebrate Matariki we’re encouraging all Red Cross people to think about how they want to celebrate Matariki. Last year, Red Cross employees got together in the lead up to Matariki and had teas to mark the occasion.

There are lots of ways to observe Matariki and acknowledge Te Mātahi o te Tau:

  • Take time to remember loved ones and Red Cross people no longer with us.
  • Give thanks for the year that has passed.
  • Plan for the next year.
  • Spend time with Red Cross whānau.
  • Have a Matariki feast.
  • Plan to grow a garden.
  • Write down your wishes for the year.
  • Do something special to celebrate Matariki.
  • Attend local celebrarions in your area.

If you hold an event for Matariki, tell us! We’d love to be able to share photos and event ideas with Red Cross people for next year.



Mānawatia a Matariki website

Te Papa: Matariki resources

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa resources

More information