Matariki, whakanui at Te Papa Tongarewa

Matariki celebrations are taking place across the motu. Matariki is the cluster of stars that rise on the northeastern horizon in mid-winter and marks the Māori New Year.

Published: Tuesday, 2 July 2024 | Rātū, 02 Hōngongoi, 2024

Now in its third year as an official Aotearoa public holiday, the popularity of Matariki among the general population is growing according to Manatū Taonga research. In 2023, it was found that 60 percent of Kiwis did something specific to celebrate Matariki.

“A time of noho tahi (coming together), kotahitanga (unity), whakanui (celebration), tohatohatanga (sharing) and whanaungatanga (kinship), Matariki is also a time to remember those who have passed and look ahead to the future,” says Manaia King, Deputy Secretary at Te Puni Kōkiri.

The Taikura Kapa Haka 2024 festival, held at Te Papa on 29 and 30 Pipiri in Te Whanganui a Tara, embodies the Matariki values. Over 500 kaumātua from regional and marae-based rōpū throughout the motu participated. The festival is a celebration of traditional performing arts and rich mātauranga that our koroua and kuia shared during each of their 20-minute kapa haka segments. View the festival here.

“Te Puni Kōkiri has been a longtime supporter of Taikura Kapa Haka and along with Manatū Taonga, has also helped distribute their Matariki funding to community groups and iwi/hapū organisations.

“Our deep relationships with whānau, hapu and iwi, has meant we’ve been able to identify and partner with groups which are doing amazing mahi in promoting mātauranga Māori at this special time. Many events have showcased Puanga and Matariki through wānanga, waiata, pūrākau and karakia,” says Manaia.

From the Manatū Taonga 2023 survey, it has been identified that nearly 3 in 4 New Zealanders (70 percent) thought Matariki is a chance to celebrate the culture, people and stories of Aotearoa New Zealand, and 72 percent saw it as an opportunity to connect with Māori culture.

“Matariki is another way for people to hear and use te reo Māori everyday and strengthen their understanding of Matauranga Māori through whakanui. This year Te Puni Kōkiri has partnered with other government agencies and community groups to reach thousands of people, in helping Matariki flourish in Aotearoa.”

Te Kohao Health Ruruhi Koroheke and Kirikiriroa Marae members during Day One of the Taikura Kapa Haka festival. Our Deputy Secretary Organisational Support Manaia King attended in support of his mum who is in this roopu.

Te Rerenga o te Rā kapa haka group from Blenheim performing on Day One at Taikura kapa haka festival