Wellington's Carter Observatory is marking Maori New Year today.

It's hosting a day celebrating Matariki for children, after an event last year brought in hundreds of visitors.

Spokeswoman Dawn Muir said Matariki was becoming more and more popular.

"For us at Carter, we spend an entire month talking about Matariki with gallery trails and all sorts of things. It's really about raising the interest particularly from the astronomy perspective, but of course it's got such wide meaning for us culturally here in New Zealand."


Matariki has a natural tie-in with the stars, as it is also the Maori name for the constellation The Seven Sisters, whose arrival in the dawn sky is the basis of celebrations.