Rotorua Museum is hosting Dr Rangi Matamua as part of its Matariki celebrations.

Dr Matamua is an expert in Maori astronomy and a senior lecturer at the School of Maori and Pacific Development at Waikato University. He contributed to the museum's popular Matariki celebrations last year with a talk about the origins of Matariki and the place it has in today's society, which was widely and extremely well received.

"This year we anticipate the event will be bigger than last year and as such have moved it to a larger venue at the Sir Howard Morrison Centre of Performing Arts, starting at 6:30pm," said Rotorua Museum events coordinator Kathy Nicholls.

"With a background that includes research in Maori language revitalisation, Maori culture, and Maori astronomy Dr Matamua stood out as the obvious expert voice for the event,"she said.

"And he sits on several related boards including the Society for Maori Astronomy Research and Traditions (SMART)."

Matariki is a star cluster which reappears in the southern skies during the cold months of winter signalling the beginning of the Maori New Year. It is quickly becoming a widely recognised and celebrated event on New Zealand's annual calendar.

"We have found that people are becoming more and more interested in Matariki. Most people are aware that Matariki is part of a star cluster, but for many of us that's where it ends. Having the expert knowledge of someone like Dr Mātāmua to help put it all into context is huge and if it fuels people to seek more information and further their Matariki knowledge then that's even better," said Mrs Nicholls.

"Like last year, we expect this talk will be very popular and seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. But we don't want anyone to miss out, which is why we are hosting the event at the Sir Howard Morrison Centre of Performing Arts."


This free talk by Dr Rangi Mātāmua is on Thursday starting at 6:30pm. Doors will open from 6pm for seating.

For further information, contact Kathy Nicholls phone 07 351 8456 or email

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31 May, 2016 10:40am
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