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Matariki

04 Jul 2016

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:
Māori, Society and culture

What is Matariki?

LEVEL: Primary / Intermediate

Matariki is the Māori name for the constellation of stars, as well as the celebration, that signals the Māori New Year. The constellation is also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. 

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

To find out all about Matariki, follow this pathway:

  1. From the homepage scroll down to find the story Earth, Sea and Sky, and click on it.
  2. Now click on astronomy, which is the study of stars.
  3. Now you can click on Matariki - Māori New Year.
  4. Don't forget that you can click on read the full story for more information.

You can also check out images and media to do with Matariki on Te Ara. When you are on the Matariki page, click on the tab called Images and Media for a picture of the Matariki stars. There is also a video you can watch which is all about how Matariki was formed.

The Māori Language Commission has a great Matariki booklet (PDF) with lots of information all about Matariki, and explaining why it is an important part of New Zealand culture. This booklet also has a Matariki calendar.

HOT TIP: We like this site because it's from a government organisation (Ministry or Council). You can tell this by its web address – it has .govt in the address. It's also a New Zealand site, so relevant for us.

To find out about what events will be happening around the time of Matariki, here is the official Matariki home page. Have a look at the link About Matariki and check out the What's on page for information about Matariki events. They also have a cool Matariki TV channel, where you can see video clips of Matariki celebrations.

If you're not quite sure how to find Matariki in the sky, try the the Ministry of Culture and Heritage page about Matariki. Go down the page to find the link to The beginner's guide to finding Matariki (from the Te Ara blog).  

Do you want to play a Matariki game? WickED has an interactive game that will help you learn all about Matariki. You can choose to play this game in English or in Māori, just click on the version you want and enjoy.

Also check out Christchurch City Libraries, kids homework pages  - scroll down and click on 'Holidays' to find the Matariki for kids page. Here you can get ideas for activities for celebrating Matariki and learn about Matariki traditions.

HOT TIP: For more websites and information, check out the National Library’s Services to Schools page of High Interest Topics. Here you can find lists of reliable websites on many topics, including Matariki. The most recent topics are at the top of the page, or you can browse through an alphabetical list of all the topics that have been published.

You can also check out another ManyAnswers entry if you want to know why the Matariki stars only show at a certain time of the year.

what do you push for primary
Jaymie, manurewa south school

Hi Jaymie, all these sites are good for both Primary and Intermediate students :)
Rob, AnyQuestions

how is it celebrated
jaxon, harewood

Kia ora Jaxon!
If you follow these links there is lots of info that might help with your question :)
Try looking at the official Matariki home page to find out about events or celebrations that happen for Matariki.
If you would like more help, you can chat online with a librarian on AnyQuestions.co.nz, Monday to Friday 1-6pm :)
All the best with your research!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

What are some good things to answer for a brochure i am doing for school about Matariki? :)
Maia, Lakes

Hi Maia,
Great question! I'm sure there are lots of awesome topics you could look at for a Matariki brochure :)
If you would like help thinking through options, log on to AnyQuestions.co.nz anytime 1-6pm Monday to Friday, and a librarian can help online :) Or you could visit your local or school library and talk with the librarians there - they'd be happy to help too!
All the best with your project!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

how many stars in matariki
nareise, nayland primary school

How did matariki start and why did it start???
Hinemarama, Te kura a iwi ngati kauwhata marae

Thanks for all those answers
Hayden, SEHC

Why is matariki important to maori people??!!
Mosese, SEHC

WHAT ANOTHER NAME FOR MATARIKI
PAEPAE, TAUPO PRIMARY

Kia ora Paepae! That's a great question :) If you go to the Te Ara website (http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/matariki-maori-new-year) that will have helpful info for you.
If you would like more help, log on to AnyQuestions.co.nz anytime 1-6pm Monday to Friday, and a librarian can help online :) Or you could visit your local or school library and talk with the librarians there - they'd be happy to help too!
All the best with your project!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

love those questions
Andrew, sehc

What does matariki mean?
Matariki is the maori name for the cluster of stars also known as pleiades
Poinsetta, sehc

i would like to know what coloures are the matariki
layla, waikato university

who created matariki?
Avtar, papatoetoe intermediate

Kia ora Layla and Avtar! Those are great questions :) Try looking at some of the websites we recommend in this entry (e.g. Te Ara http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/matariki-maori-new-year). They will have helpful info for you. If you would like more help, log on to AnyQuestions.co.nz anytime 1-6pm Monday to Friday, and a librarian can help online :) Or you could visit your local or school library and talk with the librarians there - they'd be happy to help too! All the best with your project!
Sargia, AnyQuestions

what are the jobs for the seven sisters
lukas, Maungatoroto

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