Matariki: A chance to reflect and celebrate

Celebrating Matariki as a public holiday over the past two years has made sure everyone gets to spend some extra time with friends and family, as well as the chance to learn more about what makes this time of year meaningful.

Named after the group of stars that rises in mid-winter, Matariki marks the start of the Māori New Year, and is a time to both reflect and plan for the coming year.

This year’s theme is Matariki heri kai: The feast of Matariki. Matariki stars each relate to our food sources: gardens (Tupuānuku), forests (Tupuārangi), fresh water (Waitī), and

the ocean (Waitā). Māori looked to the appearance of Matariki in the sky to determine how the kai harvest would go. The tradition exists in different forms across the world, but there are many elements unique to New Zealand.

Each year we’ve been seeing an increase in the number of people coming together to celebrate Matariki, with events being held around the motū. You can also watch a national live broadcast here. Events acknowledge three main principles:

Matariki Hunga Nui | Remembrance

  • Honouring those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki.

Matariki Ahunga Nui | Celebrating the Present

  • Gathering together to give thanks for what we have.

Matariki Manako Nui | Looking to the Future

  • Looking forward to the promise of a new year


Wherever you are, we hope you and your whānau have the chance to spend some time together, relax and enjoy the holiday.

Mānawatia a Matariki.


Click here to take our Matariki quiz.