Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars which is visible in our night sky at a specific time of the year. In 2020, the Matariki cluster set on 15 May, rises from 13–16 July, and the Matariki period is 13–20 July.

The Matariki cluster has nine visible stars: Matariki, Tupu-ā-Rangi, Waipuna-ā-Rangi, Waitī, Tupu-ā-Nuku, Ururangi, Waitā, Pōhutukawa and Hiwa-i-te-Rangi. Each star within the Matariki cluster holds a certain significance over our well-being and environment, as seen from the Māori view of the world.

In keeping with the significance of the nine stars of Matariki, Te Hautū Kahurangi |Tertiary Education Union (TEU) has brought together nine Māori leaders, academics and educators for a special Tertiary Update, Hau Taki Haere: Te Iwa o Matariki 2020.

Our tūpuna Māori looked to Matariki for help with their harvesting of crops and other food sources. When Matariki disappeared from the sky in April/May, it was time to preserve crops for the winter season. When it re-appeared in June/July, our tūpuna would read the stars to predict the upcoming season – clear and bright stars promised a warm and abundant winter while hazy stars warned of a bleak winter.

Today Matariki is understood by many as an important time to celebrate the taiao and show respect and thanks for our environment and all it provides us. It is a time to spend with whānau and friends – to share kai, waiata/haka, whakapapa, and tākaro.

Matariki is also a time to celebrate new life, to remember those who’ve passed and to plan for the future. In acknowledging our tūpuna and all of those whom have come before us, we also recognise the shared history of Aotearoa New Zealand, as tangata whenua, Pākehā and tauiwi alike.

Much like the Matariki cluster of stars, each of the nine stories presented in Hau Taki Haere: Te Iwa o Matariki 2020 are unique, yet together they form one kaupapa, and share common themes of unity, mana, tikanga and Mātauranga Māori.

In this edition:

Introducing TEU’s Taua

Taua Roimata Kirikiri (Ngāti Rākaipāka [Ngāti Kahungunu], Ngāti Konohi, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāi Tahu whānui) shares the experience and knowledge she brings with her and how she wants to build on the mahi of those that have come before her.

Matariki a time for holistic well-being

Tahangāwari Tangitu-Huata (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Kahungunu) reflects on Matariki and the its significance in contemporary Aotearoa and our sector.

“E kapo ki ngā whetū” (Reach for the stars)

Dr Haturini McGarvey (Ngāi Tūhoe, Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Rangi) discusses supporting Wānanga tauira Māori in realising their potential and aspirations in the unique Wānanga Māori environment.

Celebrating Māori-led expertise and health initiatives

Associate Professor Dr Elana Taipapaki Curtis (Ngāti Rongomai, Ngāti Pikiao, Te Arawa) discusses the continued work of Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā in keeping Māori safe and informed during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Time for employers to rethink policy on tangihanga and bereavement

Dr Shirley Barnett (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) discusses the impact of Covid-19 on tangihanga leave and the work of TEU towards ensuring working people are allowed appropriate time to grieve for their loved ones.

Report on the impact of Covid-19 on tauira Māori

Mamaeroa Merito (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Awa), Nohorua Parata (Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata), and Zaine Ākuhata-Huntington (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa), of Te Mana Ākonga, discuss their report detailing the educational and well-being impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown on Māori University students.

Our common law must reflect the values of Aotearoa New Zealand

Professor Jacinta Ruru (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) discusses the importance of our common law reflecting tikanga Māori and the values of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Waananga offer a framework for all to succeed

Tahi Brown (Waikato-Tainui, Ngaati Maniapoto) reflects on the importance of our Waananga, their historical significance, and their role in shaping better futures for tauira Maaori and all New Zealanders.

Matariki: A productive year for Te Toi Ahurangi and Te Uepū members

We reflect on the year that has been for Te Toi Ahurangi and Te Uepū members.

For more information on Matariki visit here.

Other stories/information

Great simplicity when it comes to verb system in te reo - Stuff

Matariki almost 'colonised': Why there's no one day to celebrate it - Stuff

Revitalisation and Hautapu at Home (podcast) – Taringa Podcast

Te Iwa o Matariki: The Nine Stars of Matariki – Te Wānanga o Aotearoa