Story: Matariki – Māori New Year

Matariki in the night sky

Matariki in the night sky

Amongst other stars and star clusters can be seen Matariki and Puanga (Rigel in Orion). For some Māori tribes, it was the rising of Puanga that signalled the new year rather than Matariki. Whichever the sign, for all Māori it was a time to celebrate seasonal fertility and remember those who had passed.

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Diagram by Richard Hall

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How to cite this page:

Paul Meredith, 'Matariki – Māori New Year - Cycles of life and death', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 November 2020)

Story by Paul Meredith, published 12 Jun 2006