Matariki is the Maori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). On 22 June the Year 9 Te Reo class celebrated Matariki by having a shared dinner in the whanau room to celebrate this special occasion. Matariki marks the start of the Maori New Year. Signified by the Matariki cluster of stars reappearing in our night sky, this is a time of celebration and reflection. We spent the evening sharing Maori culture by listening to speeches, playing games and sharing a meal. To share a meal and food with visitors is a New Zealand tradition. The Maori call it manaakitanga; one of our Core Mercy Values as a Mercy school.  The rise of Matariki in the winter skies above Aotearoa is an important time in the Maori calendar as it signifies the start of the Maori new year. A time to grow and renew. It’s a chance to get together and remember whānau who have died, share food, tell stories, sing and play music. ”Na to rourou,na taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi” (With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive) “Matariki Ahunga nui” (Matariki has many admirers, but Matariki brings us together).

Kriya D’Sa, Year 9