Matariki 2021

What's on in Selwyn during Matariki

There are a variety of events on in Selwyn during July, book your activities now!

Visit selwyn.govt.nz/events for details and bookings.


About Matariki

Ko Matariki kei runga, ko te tohu tēnā o te tau!

Matariki signals the Māori New Year and is considered a time of celebration and renewal. Matariki begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster which appears mid-winter.

Customarily, Matariki was celebrated by the lighting of ceremonial fires, gifts and offerings, and celebrations to farewell the dead, honour ancestors, and to celebrate the coming year. The Matariki star cluster was also used to find out how abundant the upcoming year’s harvest would be. Bright, clear stars promised a warm and successful season. However, hazy stars warned of cold weather and poor crops.

Puaka Kai Rau

The abundance of Puaka

Puaka (Rigel in Orion), is the seventh brightest start in the sky. Puaka, the Ngāi Tahu dialectal form of Puanga, rises just before Matariki each year. The tribes of Whanganui, Taranaki, parts of the Far North and Te Waipounamu recognise Puaka, as it is the star seen most clearly in these regions. It is said that Puaka foretells the fortunes of the coming year.

Although southern iwi celebrate Puaka, they still recognise Matariki and celebrate during the same period.