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Matariki Mackenzie

a celebration of whānau and whenua

A place to connect

The rise of Matariki in the winter skies is an important time for Aotearoa New Zealand: it signifies the start of the Māori new year. 

Matariki Mackenzie offers a special place for Mana Whenua, community and manuhiri (visitors) to connect with whānau (family) and whenua (land) through culture, kai (food) and kōrero (conversation).

A time for celebration, growth and renewal

Remember: honour those who have passed since the last heliacal rising of Matariki.

Celebrate the present: gather together in appreciation of each other and our environment.

Look to the future: prepare and plan for prosperity.

Our festival values

Our festival tohu

Te Manahuna was known for it’s abundance of kai, which included weka and tuna as depicted in the Matariki Mackenzie tohu.

The chest plate acknowledges Papatûânuku seen cloaking one of her sons Aoraki with Te Iwa o Matariki above forecasting our seasons to come.

The Matariki Mackenzie tohu was
designed by Kihere Jahnke-Waitoa in collaboration with Pae-o-te-Riri Waitoa.

Kihere is passionate about Mâori performing arts, toi and creating reo Mâori resources. In the last 5 years Kihere has been exploring toi more in the digital space designing logos, custom artwork and educational resources.  

Matariki: the star cluster

Matariki is a star in the open star cluster Pleiades or M45. The term Matariki is also applied to the entire star cluster. Matariki is known by many different names and has been celebrated for thousands of years all around the world. The pre-dawn rising of Matariki heralds a significant phase in our seasonal cycle and is often referred to as the Māori New Year.

For Kāi Tahu here in the South, the star Puaka (Rigel in Orion) is highly revered and has important significance as a seasonal indicator with connections to mahika kai, planting, harvesting and the natural cycles of species including flora and fauna. Puaka is associated with the completion of both the tītī (mutton-bird season and the tuna heke (eel migration), demonstrating its importance within time keeping systems.

The Matariki Public Holiday recognises the unique and specific knowledge associated with Matariki and mātauraka Māori and is a time for New Zealand to express the values and principles of Matariki. Matariki Mackenzie aims to provide a celebration for locals and visitors to enjoy, and at which they can experience the true values and principles of Matariki.

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