Mātāriki Celebration

By Brenda McQuillan, Pūkenga Manaaki (Whānau Navigator – Mental Health)

Mātāriki is time of significance for all Māori and so Te Piki Oranga staff decided to celebrate Mātāriki 2017 at Whakatū Marae in Mauri Ora.  We were hosted by our Whakatū Rōpū, and the organising committee included Mātua Rangi, Michelle Trow and myself. 

When we first met, we discussed what our theme should encompass. We started with the story of Mātāriki - the stars, the planets, the harvest and the animals. Then we thought we would like kaimahi participation so we threw down the wero to all the Rōpū.  The competition would be threefold; costume, table decoration and performance incorporating the four parts of the Mātāriki story. Motueka were The Stars, Waimeha were The Harvest, Wairau were the Planets and Whakatū were the animals.  

We invited a panel of Kaumātua to judge, they were Whāea Jane Du Feu, Whāea Peggy Whitton and Matua Mark Davis.  Matua Mark also carved a taonga for the Supreme winners which will be competed for annually.  There were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes for each category and the overall, supreme winners were…the mighty team from Waimeha!!!

Doctor Rangi Matamua (Tuhoe), is a senior lecturer based in the School of Māori and Pacific Development at Waikato University. He has undertaken significant research in the areas of Maori language revitalisation, Māori culture, Māori astronomy and broadcasting. In his MA thesis Doctor Matamua focused on traditional Tuhoe weaponary, and his PhD examined the role of Māori radio in Māori language revitalisation.

I would like to thank Mātua Rangi for his calm leadership of our committee behind the scenes, Michelle Trow for working so hard liaising with various people organising the venue, catering, decorations and supporting the committee. Thanks also to Fay from Nelson Community Arts Centre for the use of the wonderful masks and decorations, and finally thanks to all the Te Piki Oranga kaimahi who joined in and made the day fun, colourful, entertaining and a fabulous celebration of Mātāriki 2017.

We also thought that you might find the following Mātāriki kōrero presented by Tākuta Rangi Matamua interesting so click below to watch the video.