Ka puta Matariki, ka rere a Whanui, ko te tohu o te tau.
Matariki (Pleiades) reappears, Whnui (Vega) starts its flight, this being the sign of the time of the year.
Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year. Matariki, the seven-star cluster also known as Pleiades, rises over the horizon in late May. At the time of the first full moon after Matariki first appears, the Māori New Year begins – this year on June 27.
The word Matariki can be translated as Mata Riki (Tiny Eyes) or Mata Ariki (Eyes of God). These eyes watch over the land and her people. Matariki is a special time to celebrate our connection to the whenua (land) and admiration for Papatuanuku, our mother earth. It is time to remember our history and roots. Matariki is a time of growth and change, a time to celebrate what we have and what gifts we have to use. Matariki is a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people.
We give thanks for Matariki, season of new beginnings and quiet growth. Let us give thanks specially for the tangata whenua, and pray that we may all continue to grow together to understand and honour the treasures of our heritage.
Resources to help celebrate Matariki are available from various websites such as www.korero.māori.nz/libraries, and Juliet Batten Celebrating the Southern Seasons (2005). Find a way to celebrate in your parish.