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Matariki, marking the Māori New Year in New Zealand, celebrates the rise of the Matariki star cluster (Pleiades).

Traditionally, it signifies harvesting, land preparation, and honouring ancestors through song, dance and feasting. It emphasises whakapapa, the interconnectedness of all living things and the importance of family and community.

The best time to observe Matariki is during the Tangaroa moon phase, the three or four days leading to a new moon, varying each year. Matariki is visible from late June to April, with the New Year starting on Whiro o Pipiri. Regionally, Ngāi Tahu marks the New Year with Puanga (Rigel).

In 2024, Matariki is celebrated on 28 June and involves community events, cultural performances, feasts and storytelling. Schools and workplaces often close for full participation. The celebration is framed by five elements:

  • Hono ~ Connect
  • Whakaaroaro ~ Reflect
  • Whakamana ~ Celebrate
  • Whakarite ~ Plan
  • Whakaū ~ Act

Aligned with the Māori lunar calendar, Matariki promotes environmental stewardship and deepens connections with the environment. As it gains national significance, Matariki unites New Zealanders in celebrating and reflecting on the country's rich, diverse heritage.

Ara will celebrate Matariki from 26 June to 19 July 2024.

Key Details

Institute Wide
26 Jun 2024 12:00am - 19 Jul 2024 11:59pm