Puanga Matariki

Picture of Whangārei Harbour with a representation of the Matariki star cluster.

Matariki is the name given by Māori to a cluster of stars, part of a constellation known in Western astronomy as Pleiades (or Subaru in Japan). The appearance of the stars in the dawn sky in late May, early June marks the start of a new phase of life - the Aotearoa Pacific new year.

While various iwi celebrate Matariki at different times, most festivities begin at the next new moon after Matariki has risen. In Northland, it is called Puanga Matariki.

In 2024 this period is 29 June to 6 July.

There are two English translations of Matariki - mata riki (tiny eyes) or mata ariki (eyes of god) referring to the eyes watching over the land and its people.

The celebration of Matariki has undergone a revival in recent years, with a growing awareness among New Zealanders of Māori traditions contributing to their unique cultural identity.

Matariki is a growing tradition celebrating people, language, spirituality and history.


2024 Puanga Matariki Festival

The Puanga Matariki Festival Whangārei is a special celebration promoting a series of cultural events happening within the District for people to come and celebrate Puanga Matariki together.

The library holds free activities for all ages to celebrate Puanga Matariki.

View 2024 Puanga Matariki Festival events at the library