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Winter time, a time of assembly of the people. A time when game are best for the taking.
Matariki is the Māori name for the star cluster known as the Pleiades. The rising of Matariki in mid-winter signals the beginning of the Māori new year. It has always been a time of celebration and reflection – bringing together whānau, friends and neighbours during the cold winter months. For iwi on the west coast, the ascent of Puanga (Rigel in Orion) indicates the start of the Māori New Year as the pae maunga (mountain ranges) obstruct the view of Matariki.
Different iwi celebrate Matariki at different times. The Māori New Year is marked by the ascent of Matariki and the sighting of the next new moon.
In 2024, Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki will be officially celebrated on Friday 28 June. Matariki was marked for the first time as an official public holiday in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2022.
Each year, Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti produces a Maramataka (calendar) that covers the period 1 July to 30 June. It includes information for fishing and planting by the moon.
The Maramataka is officially blessed and launched around the time of Matariki. Find out more about this at Maramataka.
Check back closer to the time for an update on Council-supported events for Matariki.