This year marks the first time Aotearoa will be celebrating Matariki as an official public holiday.
Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars that rises in midwinter, also known as Pleiades.
Traditionally it signals the start of the new year for many Māori, and is a time to spend with whānau and friends, and reflect on the year that has passed.
The holiday falls on June 24 this year, a Friday. Below are some of the many events planned around the country.
Bay of Islands Matariki Festival - This Northland event is running over several weeks from June 17 until July 31 2022 and includes story-telling, kai, and star gazing.
As part of Auckland's Matariki Festival, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will lead the Umu Kohukohu Whetū event at Takaparawhau. The Umu Kohukohu Whetū involves lighting a hāngī / umu (earth oven) before sunrise on the first day of Matariki celebrations - June 21st. The event starts at 5am.
Ka Pō, Ka Ao - Artists like Rob Ruha join the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on June 23 for Haka Soul - a one-off show at Auckland’s Town Hall.
Stardome in Auckland is running a Matariki light show from June 19-25. It also has free 10 minute Matariki shows in the planetarium from June 19-25, and is offering free entry to visitors all day on June 24.
Te Karanga a Hape on Thursday June 23 on Auckland's Karangahape Road. There will be live music across multiple outdoor and indoor stages.
Te Papa is hosting an official Matariki Ceremony on June 24. Whāngai i te Hautapu will be live streamed on TVNZ1 and on 1News online. It's a food offering ceremony that tohunga (experts) will conduct to mark the rise of the Matariki cluster.
A traditional celestial star compass known as an Ātea-ā-Rangi will be unveiled on the summit of Mt Maunganui to mark the Māori New Year, and in celebration of the first Matariki Public Holiday on June 24.
Matariki Ramaroa is a month-long arts festival across the Kapiti region from June 24 until July 17, 2022. It’s also running in conjunction with Māorliand, an indigenous film festival in Ōtaki which was founded in 2014.
Wellington City Council is putting on Matariki ki Pōneke - various events for the long weekend, from June 23 until June 26. There will also be a number of Matariki-themed installations and exhibitions around the city in June.
Puaka Matariki - Dunedin’s Matariki festival sees a range of community events planned throughout the city from June 21 to July 3.
Tīrama Mai Christchurch - Held from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, July 3, Tīrama Mai features live entertainment, including kapa haka and fire performances, at a stage set up in Cathedral Square.
Matariki Mackenzie is a two-day festival on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 June which will feature a range of events in Takapō, an area of cultural significance for mana whenua.
Matariki Arrowtown Lights - A free three-day event with light displays, performances by local kapa haka school groups and an astrophysicist sharing their knowledge on the night sky.
Nelson’s Matariki Festival is happening at Rutherford Park and the Trafalgar Centre on June 24, with a Mākete Pō (night market) and waka ama (outrigger canoes) along the Maitai River.
You don’t have to go far from home to observe Matariki. Traditionally, it’s a time to slow down, share kai, reflect, and remember our loved ones who have died during the year. Celebrate by catching up with friends and whānau, star gazing, and having a home-cooked meal.
Mānawatia a Matariki, celebrate Matariki!