Thursday, April 25, 2024

Excitement builds for second Matariki

The second celebration of Matariki as a national public holiday this Friday is being marked by increasing public support for the event, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Willow-Jean Prime said today.

“This year, Matariki will be celebrated in new and traditional ways and at a level we haven’t seen before,” Associate Minister Prime said.

“While Māori have traditionally celebrated Matariki, heading into our second public holiday for the event, it’s fantastic to see interest from the wider community growing.”

In 2022, just over half (51%) of the population did something specific to celebrate Matariki and current indications are that this year the number should be higher, the Ms Prime said.

As part of Budget 2023, the Government announced a further investment of $18 million over four years to build on last year’s initial momentum and to see expanded public awareness and understanding of Matariki.

“A key component of the 2023 celebrations will be a traditional ceremony at Mt Ngongotahā in Rotorua on Friday, and I’m honoured to be attending there,” Ms Prime said.

“However, there are also many other opportunities to take part, ranging from community events organised by local marae, hapū and iwi, to family fun gatherings organised by councils, to individual whanau and families following this year’s theme of Matariki Kāinga Hokia Matariki calls you home, encouraging people to come home.”

The traditional hautapu ceremony at Mt Ngongotahā will be broadcast nationwide through Whakaata Māori, TVNZ and online on the Matariki.com website. It will also feature pre-recorded events from around the country showcasing other tribal variations such as Puanga. 

Ngāti Whakaue have partnered with the Government to host this year’s live nationally broadcasted traditional hautapu.

“I am hugely appreciative of the efforts Ngāti Whakaue are making to host us, to share their aroha for Matariki with all New Zealanders and to increase awareness and education of its significance,” the Associate Minister said.

“And wherever New Zealanders are on the day, it doesn’t have to be a big-scale celebration – the key elements of remembrance, celebrating the present and looking to the future can be marked by anyone wherever they are.

“I invite everyone to join in this Friday, whether by watching the broadcast, attending an event, or simply looking up at the stars,” she said.

A list of some of the many other Matariki events, celebrations and ceremonies is being regularly updated: www.matariki.com/events.

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