As I sit to write this column, the nine stars of Matariki are starting to rise above me. Waipuna-ā-rangi, the star associated with rain; Pōhutukawa, the star associated with those that have passed on; Waitā, associated with the ocean and the food it contains; Tupuānuku, the star associated with food sources that grow in the soil; Ururangi, associated with winds; Hiwa-i-te-rangi, the star associated with granting our wishes for the coming year; Tupuārangi, associated with everything that grows up in the trees; Waitī, associated with bodies of fresh water and the food within them, and of course Matariki – the star of hope, reflection, connection to the environment and the gathering of people.
I a au e noho ana kia tuhi tēnei kōrero, ka tīmata Te Iwa o Matariki te marewa ake i ahau. Ko Waipun-ā-rangi, te whetū e tautuhitia i te ua, ko Pōhutukawa te whetū e tautuhitia i ō tātou tau kahurangi kua ngaro, ki Waitā te whetū e tautuhitia i te moana me te kaimoana (a Tangaroa), ko Tupuānuku te whetū o ngā kai katoa o te whenua (a Rongo-mā-tāne), ko Ururangi te whetū i ngā hau (a Tāwhitimātea), ko Hiwa-i-te-rangi te whetū i te korou o te manawa koronga mō te tau hou, ko Tupuārangi, te whetū o te manu me te hua rākau, Waitī, te whetū o te wai māori me te kai o aua wāhi, ā Matariki tonu– te whetū matua, te whetū o te tūmanako, te whakaaroaro, te tūhonga ki te taiao me te huihui o ngā tāngata katoa.
The celebration of Matariki is unique to New Zealand, and every year I feel that appreciation and respect for te ao Māori is growing in all our communities. Modern Matariki celebrations focus on revitalising traditional Māori practices, including arts, crafts, music and games, storytelling, celestial navigation, kapa haka and most importantly, te reo Māori.
Ko te āhuareka o Matariki, he kaupapa ahurei ki Aotearoa. Ia tau, ia tau, ka rongo te aroha e au te whakatipu o te whakamaiotanga me te whakaute ki te ao Māori i ō tātou hapori katoa. Ko te aronga o te āhuareka hōu o Matariki, te whakahaumanu o ngā mahi Matariki o mua – ngā mahi toi, ngā mahi-a-ringa, ngā puoro me ngā tākaro, te kōrero paki, te whakatere, te kapa haka, me te mea nui, te reo Māori.
I strongly urge everyone to attend the many Matariki events happening around our District, whether it be one of the community garden or planting days, the coastal Northern Lights Festival, cultural talks, Matariki Preschool Funtime at the city libraries, Matariki Whānau Day or Matariki Pahū Ahi (fireworks evening).
Ka whakahauhau au ki a koutou katoa kia haere mai ki te maha o ngā kaupapa Matariki i te Rōhe o Whangārei. – te māra hapori, tētahi rā whakatō, te Northern Lights Festival o te Takutai, ngā kōrero ahurea, te Matariki Preschool Funtime kei te Whare Pukapuka, Te Rā Whānau Matariki, te Matariki Pahū Ahi rānei.
This is a chance for us all to come together to reflect on a turbulent year, while looking forward to a more peaceful year to come. In 2022 we'll be enjoying a new Matariki public holiday – even more reason to celebrate!
He kōwhiriringa tēnei kia huihui tātou hei whakaroaro i tērā tau hūkerikeri. I a tātou, te mahia, ka titiro tātou ki te tau marie ki mua. A te tau 2022, he rā whakatā-ā-ture hou a Matariki mō tātou hei ngahau. He tikanga anō hei whakanui rawa tātou.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
I'm going to attend as many of these events as possible, I hope to see you there too.
E haere ana ahau ki he maha o ēnei kaupapa, ā, ko tōku tūmanako te kite hoki i a koutou ki reira.
• Sheryl Mai is mayor of Whangārei.