Matariki falls on June 28th this year, so let’s take this month to cultivate a deeper understanding of our Māori new year and why it is an important ritual for us in Aotearoa. Nine stars are commonly acknowledged within the Matariki constellation, which is otherwise known as Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters. Here are the names of our nine Matariki whetū and their significance in Te Ao Māori:


Matariki is the Mother star of this constellation, governing all health and wellbeing, signifying healing, strength and providence.


Tupu-ā-nuku governs our food that grows in the earth, signifying an abundance of vegetable harvest and land-dwelling animals for the year to come.


Tupu-ā-rangi governs our food that grows above the earth, signifying the abundance of fruit and sky dwelling birds for the year to come.


Ururangi governs the wind, signifying the calm or chaotic weather patterns for the year to come.


Waipunā-ā-rangi governs the rain, signifying flood or drought for the year to come.


Waitā governs the ocean dwelling creatures, signifying the abundance of food from the sea for the year to come.


Waitī governs the fresh water dwelling creatures, signifying the abundance of food from rivers and streams for the year to come.


Hiwa-i-te-rangi governs future growth and prosperity, it is known as the wishing star, signifying the fulfillment of aspirations for the year to come.


Pōhutukawa governs the deceased, signifying the rite of passage and release of those that have died over the past year.


To make the Matariki constellation real and significant in your life, you might like to write in your journal how each one is relevant to you. Even if you don’t grow a garden, how might you care for your backyard or house plants a little better over the coming year? Even if you don’t eat seafood, how might you care for the rivers and oceans in your region a little more this year? How might you support the native bird population a little more this year? How might you give thanks for the rain or find peace with the wind, or how might you contribute a little less to global warming that disrupts these patterns?


Use this time as you would the New Year in the middle of summer by allowing yourself to dream up the life that you are cultivating over the coming year. What is it that you are welcoming more of in your life? What areas of growth will you be focusing on this year? What are your wishes and aspirations to realise over the next 12 months? What might you need to let go of in order to move on? Who has passed on or left your inner circle, how can you honour and release them? How can you honour and release any parts of yourself that no longer serve you?




Write it all down on a free sheet of paper and then burn in the fire.
Let the smoke rise up to the sky as a ritual blessing to let go and start again.
Recite the following karakia (mōteatea) if that feels significant for you to release the old and herald the new at this time of Matariki.



Tērā Matariki

ka rewa ki te pae

Nau mai haere mai

te hua o te tau hou

Tākiri ko te ata

Ka pua te ata 

Kōrihi te manu

Tino awatea

Tui tui tui tuia

Ko te tangi mai o te kō, kō, korimako

i te atatū, tū

Ka takatū!


Koia rā e Rongo, whakairihia ake ki runga

Tūturu whakamaua kia tīna! Tīna!

Hui e! Tāiki e! 


Nā Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru




Now that you have cleared some weeds, you have fertile ground to sew some new seeds. Finish this sentence 5-10 times without thinking too hard about it – go!

If I weren’t so __________ I would love to try __________.

What yearnings have been revealed here and how will you honour them this Māori new year?


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