Matariki – Māori New Year – Pipiri 10 June


(Photo by Filip Lolic, obtained from Wikimedia Commons)

In the traditional Māori maramataka, or calendar, the new year begins with the first new moon at the end of May or beginning of June.  This is when the star cluster known as Matariki (The Pleiades) reappears on the eastern horizon.

Read more about the traditions surrounding Matariki on Te Ara : Encyclopedia of New Zealand and in  Te Ao Hou (The new world) , a magazine published by the Maori Affairs Department between 1952 and 1976.


Click on Login in to eTV , select Christchurch Polytechnic and use your CPIT login and PIN number to watch this Waka Huia video called Te maramataka Māori on our eTV platform and follow Wiremu Tawhai and his family as they prepare to harvest traditional kumara, riwai and other Maori kai that were planted in accordance with the Maramataka Māori. Wiremu also explains the importance of Matariki while teaching practical ways to sustain our natural resources for future generations.

Books in our Māori collection

Hakaraia, L. & Urlich, C.W. (ed.s) (2008), Te Kāhui o Matariki : Contemporary art of    Matariki – N7406.7HAK

Hakaraia, L. (2004). Matariki : the Māori new year – DU423.A85HAK

Hakaraia, L. (2006). Celebrating Matariki – DU423.A85HAK

CD in our Māori Collection

Tikao, A (2007) Tuia – the sixth track on this album by Christchurch singer / song writer Ariana Tikao is called Matariki.  You can also listen to Matariki online at

Other links

Hansard report on the parliamentary debate around having a public holiday celebrating Te Rā o Matariki.

Matariki at Christchurch City Libraries

Author: Tina - Knowledge Advisor

Knowledge Advisor Learning Resources Ara Whakapiki Ako (AWA) Centre for Educational Advancement Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd

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