Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster or The Seven Sisters and is widely known to signify the traditional Maori New Year. Traditionally the strength of the visibility of the Matariki star formation indicated the growth of the coming season’s crop. Brighter stars meant a warmer season was ahead meaning better or more productive crops would be grown. Tangata (people) would come home to their Maara (garden) as a family or Hapu (sub-tribe) to plant crops to be harvested for the coming year in order to feed the whole community. Often it was a celebratory time where family met and spent days together catching up on news and learning about history while working together. Planning was also important as where and how the crops would be divided once harvested in order to best look after the whole community was very important.

Matariki & Whenua

We are reflect about the importance of the whenua during Matariki. Matariki , traditionally for Maori was a time to be thinking about the whenua, the land. Crops would be harvested, seafood and birds would have been collected; with plenty of food in the pataka – storehouses. The whenua was rested, nourished and not overworked to ensure the whenua would be ready for more crops in the coming months. At Woodstock School we show respect to the whenua. We remember to visit all our Enviro Project sites. They are all worth celebrating. Listen to our students and their connection to Papatuanuku.

Matariki & Whakapapa

Learning about family and whakapapa was very important around the time of Matariki. It was time to come together to exchange stories, learn about ancestors who have passed from this world to the next, and hand down knowledge and practices to ensure the Maori culture is preserved.

A focus on our whakapapa during Matariki gives us a better understanding of who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going. It is also a great way to bring whānau together to share stories and information. To know your whakapapa, is to know yourself.

Here is an overview of our recent Matariki events, kindly put together by Ariana Paul

A big thank you to Te Whanau Awhina, for organising such a great community event to celebrate Matariki. Our Junior and Senior Kapahaka groups shone brightly in front of the big crowd.