Matariki – Huarahi ki te oranga tangata

This edition of Kōkiritia comes to you under the auspice of Matariki - the whānau marama that signals the start of a New Year.

Published: Rātū, 23 Pipiri, 2015 | Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The appearance of Matariki in the skies was interpreted by our tipuna as tohu for what the year ahead might bring. On seeing the cluster of stars rise bright and clear before dawn, our tipuna would proclaim a warm and bountiful season lay ahead: ‘He kaihaukai te tau’. If Matariki appeared in a haze, the forecast was for a cold and difficult season: ‘He tau tūpuhi’.

The renaissance of Matariki as a contemporary celebration is fairly recent, and in some places the rising of Puanga-Rigel is observed rather than Matariki. Puanga can be seen above Tautoru (Orion’s Belt) in the eastern sky early in the morning. Iwi, hapū and whānau Māori use the occasion to get together to celebrate, remember loved ones and absent friends, and dream and plan about what to do in the year ahead. The ‘Māori New Year’ is now established as part of our country’s sense of nationhood. In most cities and towns across the motu whānau Māori and their communities interpret Matariki (and Puanga) as an assertion of their individual identities.

This month consultations hui for each Te Ture Whenua Māori Act reform and draft proposal on the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill are underway.

The Māori Development Minister has extended the deadline for submissions on the draft Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill to Friday, 7 August 2015. You can read the draft bill and consultation document on the Te Puni Kōkiri website.

The Ministerial Māori Language Advisory Group began their consultation hui this week. Read up on their draft proposal model Te Whare o te Reo Mauriora and find when and where your closest hui might be by visiting the Te Puni Kōkiri website.

Our land and language – like Matariki – are taonga tuku iho. Retaining our cultural practices, and embracing our responsibility to preserve these heirlooms for our mokopuna is essential to our accountability as tangata whenua.

Ngā manaakitanga