The resurgence of knowledge and interest in maramataka is unstoppable and vitally important to Māori. It’s important that we protect these traditions, even as we move to officially commemorate and celebrate Matariki from next year to ensure the true meaning and significance of Matariki and maramataka is not lost or overwhelmed by commercialism.
(TEU kuia, Taua Roimata Kirikiri)
Puanga, for me, is a time for wānanga, and I have been in kōrero with my tamāhine and whanaunga about running wānanga at our marae in July, to discuss, as part of the wānanga, Puanga, to renew acquaintances, and work toward the revival of te reo tūturu o Ngāpuhi and our cultural traditions.
(TEU Kaumātua, Matua Hōne Sadler)
Tēnā koutou e te whānau. Matariki has had an extremely positive impact on me. The readings and discussions that relate to Matariki have further encouraged my personal growth within Te Ao Māori. This development has inspired my whānau to learn Te Reo Māori together as a whānau and the birth of our great-grandson who is being brought up with Te Reo Māori being his first language is validation for this journey – tihei mauri ora!
(TEU Tumu Arataki, Hūhana Wātene, and Te Toi Ahurangi Chair)
My recollections and childhood memories of Matariki are of the tradition of celebrating new life and preparing the soil for planting for the coming year. A time of karakia to the land and to the heavens, from Papatūānuku to Ranginui, a time of waiata and joining ancient songs with that of the birds as we planted and sang.
(Owen Ormsby, Te Toi Ahurangi member)
Recently I was back home in Waimana and caught up with one of my cousins. He introduced himself to my husband and said ‘we grew up in the potato patch together’ as he gave me a hug hello. I smiled as I recalled those days.
The hot summer days, filled with the sounds of the old tractor, older cousins helping in the fields, laughing and chasing each other. Our pakeke never growling us, they just carried on with the work, and we followed their example. Nothing was said, that is how connected we were to our land, to each other.
(Pine Southon, Māori general staff on Te Toi Ahurangi)
For me as a youngster, growing up in Te Atatū North, Auckland, I was never told or taught about the celebration of Matariki.
In the early eighties my whānau on the East Coast, Whangaparaoa, introduced Matariki to me, through the appearance of our star "Autahi" (the second brightest star in the sky), that signifies the beginning of the moki fish (sacred to our Iwi) season, planting of kūmara, and the Māori New Year.
My hapū, Te Whānau-o-Kauaetangohia, now celebrate Matariki by having an annual marae celebration with all of the other 12 hapū within our Iwi of Te Whānau-a-Apanui, which can become quite competitive. Our Kauaetangohia Marae kapa name is "Te Paki o Autahi" (The Calm of Autahi). We all come together to have kapa haka, hākinakina, whanaungatanga, and of course kai which always includes the moki.
For me, Matariki is a time of being with your whānau and celebrating life.
(Jonyne Mariu-Komene, Māori academic on Te Toi Ahurangi)