In Pipiri/June each year, the star cluster Matariki (Pleiades) appears in our dawn skies.
The Maori New Year begins with the sighting of the first new moon after the first appearance of Matariki. This year it occurs on 21 Pipiri/June.
Traditionally Matariki marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of the planting season. Today Matariki means celebrating the unique place we live in, and giving respect to the land we live on.
Festivities differ from iwi to iwi but for most New Zealanders, Matariki is a time of remembrance, hospitality and new beginnings.
Matariki is a time for inward reflection and renewal. It is a time to consider the year ahead and make plans to improve our lives and enhance our communities. It is a chance to come together and share knowledge and skills.
There are a number of exciting events and activities happening at our libraries and around the city to celebrate Matariki.
- Matariki events at Wellington City Libraries, including traditional and original stories read by Apirana Taylor, star compass with Tipua Reedy, creating waka from driftwood, and more.
- Matariki events around Wellington.
- Matariki events at Te Papa.
- Matariki info on the Maori Language Commision website, TeAra.govt.nz: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, and New Zealand History Online.
From the library’s collection:
- Matariki on the WCL Kid’s Catalog.
- Matariki : the Māori New Year, by Libby Hakaraia.
- Matariki: te whetu o te tau = Aotearoa Pacific New Year.
- The astronomical knowledge of the Māori genuine and empirical: including data concerning their systems of astrogeny, astrolatry, and natural astrology, with notes on certain other natural phenomena, by Elsdon Best.
- Te kāhui o Matariki: contemporary Māori art of Matariki, edited by Libby Hakaraia and Colleen Waata Urlich; photography by Norman Heke.
- Scoop & Scribe search for the seven stars of Matariki, by Tommy Kapai Wilson; edited by Becky Hare and Graham Stride; illustrations by Rob Turvey.
- New Zealand film Matariki from our DVD collection.