11 June 2018

Te wheako o Matariki

Every year in June, seven stars rise to the northeast and when they are visible just above the horizon at dawn, this marks the start of Matariki, or Maori New Year.

One legend tells of Matariki, the mother surrounded by her six daughters and their journey across the sky each year to visit their great grandmother, Papatūānuku.

During this visit, each of the stars help Papatūānuku to prepare for the year to come, using their unique qualities or gifts to bring energy to her different environments.


Tupu-ā-nuku is the eldest of Matariki’s daughters, and she spends her time with Papatūānuku tending to plants. When we see her shining we are reminded that we all have our own special time and place, and to spend time growing our strengths, as well as that of our friends.


Tupu-ā-rangi loves to sing. Papatūānuku takes her to sing for the great forests. Her beautiful voice revives the forest and all the other creatures. Tupu-ā-rangi learns these songs and holds them close to her heart. We learn from her the importance of sharing our gifts with others, and appreciating those shared with us.


Waipunarangi travels with her Grandmother to the waters. She highlights the importance of the streams, rivers and the sea. She shares with us that if you give out kindness and love it will come back to you.


Waitī and Waitā are Matariki’s twins. They help the smallest and fastest creatures on our earth and know that they need to work as a team like they do as twins. They teach us that we should all support each other.


Ururangi races to her Grandmothers lap to snuggle in and listen to all of her stories. She has a wonderful excitement and perseverance about her and it is infectious and makes everyone feel better about the world.


Matariki is doing what all good mothers and caregivers do – watching over and helping her children. With her support, encouragement, and supervision, they will be able to do their very best.