Story: Matariki – Te Tau Hou Māori

Matariki (the Pleiades)

Matariki (the Pleiades)

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars. It is also known as the Pleiades. Matariki is visible for eleven months of the year, disappearing in the lunar month of Haratua in May/June, and rising again around a month later, in the north-eastern skies, during the lunar month of Piripi.  This usually occurs in late June or early July. It signals to Māori that the New Year will begin.

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Photograph by Mark Cannell

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How to cite this page:

Paul Meredith, 'Matariki – Te Tau Hou Māori - Heralding the new year', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 August 2022)

Story by Paul Meredith, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 19 Jun 2021