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12 Jun 2024


Learn more about Matariki and discover some exciting celebrations you can join, all around the country!

Ngā mata o te ariki o Tāwhirimātea (Matariki) is the name of a group of stars, whose emergence over the horizon marks the traditional beginning of the Māori new year. This year, Matariki falls on Friday 28 June.

This special day in Aotearoa’s calendar is an opportunity to take part in festivities, connect with friends and whānau, reflect on the year gone by and set intentions for the year to come.

Read on for a run-down of 2024 Matariki events around the country. Find something close to home or be inspired to explore somewhere new! There are so many ways to come together in celebration of this uniquely Kiwi occasion.

Celebrations around Aotearoa

Here’s a quick rundown of some places, activities, and festivals you can join to celebrate Matariki this year.

Ōtautahi Christchurch & Canterbury

Tīrama Mai – powered by Orion and Connetics

Taking place in the heart of Ōtautahi Christchurch, Tirama Mai celebrates Matariki with a spectacular array of art and lighting, storytelling and performances. Come discover a trail of illuminated artworks, projections, soundscapes and interactive installations. From 21 – 30 June, 5pm – 10pm. Find out more.

Matariki Kaiapoi

Head to Norman Kirk Park on the evening of Friday 28 June for a Kapa Haka performance, kai, waiata, kemu (games) and fireworks. There will also be four nights of a special Matariki Light Path, featuring teaching opportunities, talks, workshops and historical displays. 

Matariki Mornings

Head out to Oxford Observatory for a wintry stargazing experience through two Meade Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes and high powered binoculars. See the stars as they rise over the horizon at dawn. Sessions run throughout June and July, with times varying according to sunrise. Learn more

Waikirikiri Selwyn

Celebrate the night before Matariki at Te Ara Ātea (Rolleston). This free, whānau-friendly evening features bilingual music, stories, scavenger hunts, kai, art and kapa haka. Happening on 27 June, 5:15 – 7:30pm. Learn more

Timaru Matariki Night Market

On Friday 5 July, from 4:30-7:30, Timaru’s main street will be transformed into a dazzling Matariki celebration. Sample wares from multicultural food vendors and craft stalls, and enjoy live music, and fire dancers. Find out more

Ōtepoti Dunedin

Dunedin Symphony Orchestra Concert

On 6 July at 7:30pm, Principal Guest Conductor James Judd and three distinguished soloists take audience members on a journey to other times and places through the magic of four orchestral masterpieces. Learn more

The Stargazer Train Journey

Explore the mysteries of the cosmos onboard The Stargazer! This exclusive journey takes you to the Taieri Gorge for an evening of celestial wonder. Admire sparkling stars and discover the beauty of Dunedin’s night skies with seasoned astronomers as your guide. Tickets also include a delicious Hangi meal prepared by Harbourside Hangis. Happening on 27 June from 5:30 - 10pm at the Dunedin Railway Station.  Learn more

Waka Whetū

From 28 - 30 June, Otago Polytechnic School of Design and Tūhura Otago Museum bring you an interactive exhibition and short planetarium film to enhance your understanding of Matariki and explore the stars of the Matariki cluster. Find out more


Te Heke Whakanga

From 15 June - 28 July, this exhibition at the Marlborough Art Gallery Te Kahu o Waipuna in Blenheim tells the story of the Ngāti Rārua relationship with the Crown, and explores the impacts on the wellbeing of the iwi since that time. Learn more

Whitehaven's Matariki Night Market

Enjoy an exciting evening on 22 June with amazing encounters around every corner! Explore the Vines Village vendors, night lit gardens and stallholders, and enjoy live music, fire dancers, poi demonstrations, face painting, and a special treasure hunt. Find out more

Waikawa Bay School Fair

A fun, free event for the whole family on 23 June from 10am - 2pm. The 'Matariki Free Fair' is an opportunity to celebrate the values of Matariki and will feature free clothes, shoes, toys, books, produce and a range of services. Learn more

Rangitāne Annual Matariki Gathering

Nau mai haere mai, join us on 28 June for our Annual Matariki gathering at the Wairau Bar! Hear karakia, karanga and kōrero about Matariki, followed by parakuihi, kawhe and whakawhanaungatanga. Learn more

Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington

Matariki Ahi Kā

Celebrate the Māori New Year in a uniquely Wellington way, with an immersive waterfront walk-through journey including fire, projections, performances, and a special ceremony to honour those who have passed away and express hopes for the future. Learn more

Mana Moana Pōneke

In the lead-up to Ahi Kā and during the long weekend, enjoy a series of indigenous short films showcasing stories of our ocean, projected on a water screen. Watch as millions of water droplets fall and catch the light, creating the illusion of images appearing from the darkness and floating on the water. Find out more

Te MoanaaToi-te-Huatahi Bay of Plenty 

Matariki Te Tauranga o ngā Waka

This year’s Matariki event programme in Tauranga Moana and the Western Bay area embraces the themes of Waitī and Waitā, the fifth and sixths stars in the Matariki star cluster. Discover a range of exciting events in the region for the whole whanau. Find out more

Matariki Sculpture Trail

Explore the Matariki Sculpture Trail, a family-friendly exhibition featuring augmented reality. Follow the trail through Tauranga and Mount Maunganui and scan QR codes to view sculptures created by Māori artists celebrating this year’s Tauranga Moana theme. Learn more

What is Matariki?

Matariki is a star cluster, also known as Pleiades. Generally, nine stars are included, although different people include 6, 7, 9 or even 12 stars. In Aotearoa, the star cluster is usually visible in the sky for most of the year, however it sets at the beginning of our cold months.

When it rises back over the horizon during the months of June and July it is considered the beginning of the new year in Māori tradition.

Different iwi use different stars as markers that tell them when they should celebrate the New Year. Some iwi use Puanga some Rehua while others use Atutahi.

He aha a Matariki?

He kāhui whetū a Matariki, e mōhiotia ana hoki ko Pleiades. Ko tōna tikanga, e iwa ngā whetū ka tatauria, engari ki tā ētahi e 6, e 7, e 9, ka 12 rānei ngā whetū.   I Aotearoa, kitea ai a Matariki i te rangi mō te roanga o te tau, heoi anō, ka tō ai ia i te tīmatanga o ō tātou marama makariri.

Ka rewa anō ia ki te tahatū o te rangi i te marama o Hune, o Hūrae rānei, e kīia ana ko te tīmatanga o te tau hou tēnei e ai ki ngā tikanga tuku iho a te Māori.

Ki tēnā iwi, ki tēnā iwi, ka rerekē te whetū hei tohu i te wā kia whakanuia ai e rātou te Mātahi o te Tau. Ki ētahi iwi ko Puanga, ki ētahi ko Rehua, ki ētahi anō ko Atutahi.

How is Matariki celebrated?

Matariki is about remembering those who have passed on, giving thanks for our blessings, preparing for the year ahead, and higher learning. Traditionally, Matariki was celebrated with ceremonies, feasts and games. Today you can celebrate Matariki at a number of exciting festivals around the country. Or why not plan your own special event, like a shared feast with whānau and friends to toast loved ones and reflect on endings and beginnings.

He pēhea te whakanui i a Matariki?

Ko Matariki te wā hei whakahokinga maumahara ki a rātou mā kua riro atu, hei tuku whakawhetai mō ngā whakamānawa, hei whakarite mō te tau, hei wā wānanga anō hoki. I ngā rā o mua, ka whakanuia a Matariki ki ngā kawa taketake, ki te hākari me ngā kēmu. I ēnei rā ka whai wāhi koe ki te whakanui i a Matariki ki te maha tonu o ngā taiopenga whakaihiihi puta noa i te motu. Ka pēhea rānei te whakarite i tō ake hui motuhake, pērā i te hākari tahi ki te taha o te whānau me ō hoa hei tōhi i ngā taupuhi o te manawa, me te huritao ki ngā whakamutunga me ngā tīmatanga hoki.

How do I say Happy New Year for the Māori New Year?

“Mānawatia a Matariki”

Me pēhea taku mihi i te Mātahi o te Tau mō te Tau Hou Māori?

“Mānawatia a Matariki”

Where in the sky is Matariki?

To find Matariki, look for the three stars of Tautoru (Orion's Belt). Left of these stars you will see a triangular set of stars called Te Kokotā. Just left of Te Kokotā you will see the cluster of stars known as Matariki.

Kei hea a Matariki i te rangi?

Kia kitea rā a Matariki, kimihia ngā whetū e toru o Tautoru (Te Tatua o Orion). Kei te taha mauī o ēnei whetū ka kitea he kāhui whetū e tapatoru ana te āhua e kīia nei ko Te Kokotā. Ka paku whakatemauī anō te titiro, ka kite koe i te kāhui whetū e mōhiotia ana ko Matariki.

What does each star in the cluster represent?

Matariki (f) is connected to health and wellbeing. This star is mother to the other stars in the cluster.

Pōhutakawa (f) is connected to those who have passed on, in particular those that have passed since the last rising of Matariki.

Tupuānuku (f) is connected to food grown in the ground.

Tupuārangi (m) is connected to food from the trees and sky.

Waitī (f) is connected to fresh water bodies and food sources.

Waitā (m) is connected to the ocean and salt water foods.

Waipunarangi (f) is connected to rain.

Ururangi (m) is connected to winds.

Hiwa-i-te rangi (f) is connected to your dreams and aspirations for the year ahead.

E tohu ana ia whetū o te kāhui i te aha?

Ko Matariki (w) e hono ana ki te hauora me te oranga. Ko tēnei whetū te whaea o te kāhui whetū.

Ko Pōhutukawa (w) e hono ana ki te hunga mate, otirā, ko rātou mā kua riro atu mai i te rewanga whakamutunga o Matariki.

Ko Tupuānuku (w) e hono ana ki ngā kai e tipu ana i te whenua.

Ko Tupuārangi (t) e hono ana ki te kai e ahu mai ana i te rākau me te rangi.

Ko Waitī (w) e hono ana ki te wai māori me ana kai. Ko Waitā (t) e hono ana ki te moana me ana kai.

Ko Waipunarangi (w) e hono ana ki te ua.

Ko Ururangi (t) e hono ana ki ngā hau.

Ko Hiwa-i-te-rangi (w) e hono ana ki ō wawata me ō awhero mō te tau e tū mai ana.