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On 14 July 2023 Aotearoa will observe Te Kāhui o Matariki (The Stars of Matariki). This time is significant as it will be the first public holiday that puts Mātauranga Māori at the heart of the celebrations.

Te Hararei Tūmatanui (Public Holiday) will be the first to recognise Te Ao Māori (A Māori Worldview)calls people to gather, to celebrate, to remember and to plan for the future. It also seeks to reaffirm our connection and commitment to the environment, and to encourage positive environment activities during Matariki such as planting and cleaning waterways.

At Ara our Matariki celebrations are set within a framework of five elements:

  • Hono ~ Connect
  • Whakaaroaro ~ Reflect
  • Whakamana ~ Celebrate
  • Whakarite ~ Plan
  • Whakaū ~ Act

We encourage our community to create opportunities that foster connections to each other, to our place in the world and to the wellbeing of both.

Te Aro ki a Matariki – Matariki Observance

The optimum time to observe the rising of Matariki is in the phase of the moon known as Tangaroa, the moon of plenty. The Tangaroa moon phase occurs in the three or four days leading to a new moon and will fall on different dates each year. This is just one marker of the Māori New Year, also known as Te Matahi o Te Tau.

Matariki is seen late June to April. The first day and first month of the Māori New Year is Whiro o Pipiri (Whiro is the new moon and Pipiri is the lunar month), however Matariki is not visible, it’s above the horizon but too close to the sun, it’s not bright enough.

Celebration lasts from beginning of Tangaroa to Mutuwhenua lunar phases.  Locally Ngāi Tahu acknowledge Puanga (rigel) as the the marker of the Māori New Year. Ara is committed to further learning and development to understand the significance of regional differences.

Currently we are aligned to the teachings and research of Dr. Rangi Matamua who encourages us to consider a Māori approach to telling time, to sync into a Māori lunar calendar which is not numerical but is taken from an understanding and reading of the sun, the stars, and the moon to tell time. When we can do this, we will be more connected with the environment, and can take signals from each of these elements to organise our activities aligned to a Māori Worldview of timekeeping.

Matariki dates 2023

Ara will celebrate Matariki between the dates 19 June to 28 July 2023.

Setting 13 May
Rise 10-13 July, Matariki Rise - this is when Matariki can be seen
Period  11-17 July, Celebration Period

Key Details

Institute Wide