Matariki

When the Pleiades star cluster – known as Matariki – appears in the New Zealand sky, it signals the start of a new year.

For Māori, the emergence of Matariki marks the passing of one year and the start of another. It’s a time to remember lost loved ones and celebrate new beginnings, as well as being a period of reflection and regeneration - learn more.

Happy New Zealand new year!

 

2022 Matariki events in Te Matau-a-Māui

  • Matariki Hunga Nui ki Te Wairoa
    Wairoa celebrates Matariki

Friday 17 June
6.00pm - 8.00pm
Wairoa Community Centre and Alexandra Park, Marine Parade, Wairoa
More info

Dress up warm to energise the soul and warm the senses in the chill of winter to celebrate Matariki. The Wairoa Community Centre will come alive with Kai so find a table, pull up a seat and join us at this national celebration with live entertainment, and a place of connection, remembrance and renewal for all. There’s singers, dancers, kapa haka and bands. The finale is a spectacular fireworks display in Alexandra Park.

  • Matariki Hunga Nui ki Te Whanganui-a-Orotu
    Napier celebrates Matariki

Tuesday 21 - Saturday 25 June
Mārama Luminate Light Trail
6.00pm - 9.00pm
Waitangi Park, Awatoto, Napier
More info

Learn about the Matariki star cluster and follow a trail of luminous stones, a traditional practise of Ngāti Pahauwera to guide them at night following the reflective glow of the opunga stone in moonlight. The trail leads to light displays that guide you along an estuary that filters nutrients for plants, spawning marine life and wading birds. The sensory experience is delivered by wireless headphones to ambient music and narration. Headphones are limited to 100 and offered to visitors on a first come basis every 30 minutes. 

See below for details on additional Matariki celebrations at Ātea a Rangi.

Friday 17 June - Thursday 14 July
Napier City Council-supported events

Napier city has an extensive programme of events on offer - more details here.

  • Matariki Hunga Nui ki Heretaunga
    Hastings celebrates Matariki

Wednesday 22 - Saturday 25 June
Matariki Tāpuapua - The Pools of Matariki
6.00pm - 9.00pm
Flaxmere Park, The Pond

For four nights we invite you to float a waka lantern on the tranquil waters of The Pond to make a wish for the future, or remember those who have passed since last Matariki. Don’t miss this peaceful, contemplative and memorable experience. more info

Thursday 23 June
Kai Hau Kai - Hautapu Ceremony
5.30am
Civic Square, Hastings

Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi will host a Whangai i te hautapu ceremony, making a food offering to the Matariki star cluster, which rises as hot steam up into the skies. All welcome. Free entry.

Thursday 23 - Saturday 25 June
6.00pm - 9.00pm
Civic Square, Hastings

Matariki Digital Light Show
Wrap up warm and come along to the Civic Square to watch the digital light and sound show that brings the stars of Matariki to life. Located within Civic Square is the Matariki hub where you will find a cosy marquee to relax in whilst enjoying the warmth of the welcome fires that burn for three days and three nights.

Matariki Ahi Ka - Home fires welcome Matariki
Fires signal the arrival of Matariki in Hastings and call people home, to give thanks for the harvest, remember loved ones and celebrate with whanau and friends. The cauldrons of fire in Civic Square will burn for three days and nights. more info

Pūrākau - Storytelling
Each night you are invited to nestle under the 'big top' in Civic Square. Join the circle around communal fires as storytellers ignite our imaginations and illuminate our minds as they did for our forebears. Whanau will share the history of Nga Pou o Heretaunga as they bring to life eighteen large pou carvings representing an ancestor from marae around Hastings District. Adjacent to the luxurious winter setting is the digital light show of the Matariki stars, a display not to be missed. more info

Friday 24 June
Hākari Matariki - Feast Matariki Hastings
5.00pm - 10.00pm
Tomoana Showgrounds, Hastings

Come pull up a seat at our Matariki table to feast and commemorate New Zealand’s very first public holiday to celebrate Matariki. Enjoy a live entertainment showcase of singers, bands, kapa haka, choirs and hip hop dancers before a spectacular fireworks finale. Food trucks onsite for supper options. more info

Saturday 25 June
Te Hikoi Whetū o Matariki - Matariki Stars Parade
6.30pm
Civic Square, Hastings

Cosy up for the Matariki finale and join the lantern parade that will illuminate Hastings CBD. Craft your own lantern at home or collect one from Civic Square to follow the lights and music. Finish the parade with kai from food trucks before snuggling around the welcome fires to enjoy the Matariki stars digital light show. more info

  • Matariki Hunga Nui ki Tamatea
    Central Hawke's Bay celebrates Matariki

Friday 1 July
5.00pm - 8.30pm
Russell Park, Waipukurau
More info

Dress up warm to energise the soul and warm the senses in the chill of winter to celebrate Matariki on Friday 1st July. Russell Park will come alive with Feast Matariki so find a table, pull up a seat and join us at this national food celebration with live entertainment, and a place of connection, remembrance and renewal for all. There’s singers, dancers, kapa haka and bands. The finale is a spectacular fireworks display in Russell Park. Come share this special time of the year with us in Waipukurau.

  • Ngā Tohu o Te Tau Hou
    Celebrating the Māori New Year at Ātea a Rangi

Ātea a Rangi - Star Compass, Waitangi Regional Park, Awatoto
Free public events - more info

Monday 20 - Thursday 23 June 
6:00am - 7.00am
Kōrero by local waka navigators
Sighting Matariki, stars and planets
If poor weather, kōrero will be inside heated marquee with whare whetū (planetarium)

Tuesday 22 - Saturday 25 June
6:00pm-9.00pm
Ngāti Kahungunu Mārama sound and light trail - more details

Friday 24 June
9.00am - 12.00pm
Whānau activities learning about Matariki and other whetū (stars)
Ātea a Rangi kōrero 
Traditional Kai tastings
Rongoā Māori samplings
Native tree planting (bring gumboots)

12.00pm - 2.00pm
Whānau entertainment
Kai and coffee food trucks

The ancient wisdom of Matariki

According to the most common Māori legend, when the sky father Ranginui and earth mother Papatūānuku were parted by their children, the god of wind became so enraged he tore out his eyes and hurled them at the heavens to create Matariki. Traditionally, Māori marked the appearance of the stars – and the start of their lunar calendar – by remembering those who had died, sowing seeds for crops and celebrating with feasts and the lighting of ritual fires. Spiritual experts known as tohunga interpreted the stars to predict the weather: clear, bright stars meant a warm, abundant season ahead. In modern New Zealand, Matariki is seen as a time to take stock and face the coming year with renewed vigour.