Celebrating Matariki in Aotearoa / New Zealand
From the end of June to mid-July this year in Aotearoa / New Zealand we celebrated Matariki.
Matariki is a star cluster in the sky and its arrival has a wonderful meaning; it is a time to spend with whānau (family) and friends, to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to new beginnings ahead. It is a time of remembrance, joy, and peace.
During this time, Caring Families Aotearoa held events throughout the country so you could have time for connection with your tamariki (children) or rangatahi (younge people), your whānau, and friends. At the events we had speakers share their stories about Matariki, we sang waiata/songs and we enjoyed kai/food.
Thank you to all our event volunteers for the mahi (work) you did and thank you to all who attended for making the events so enjoyable.
Here are some highlights from our Matariki events
In Rotorua, our Regional Coordinator Chris, with the help of a fantastic team of volunteers, put on a fun filled day at Para te Hoata (Tunohopu) Marae with Matariki workshops, Kapa Haka performances, guest speakers, prizes, food and activities for the kids.
The team received some awesome feedback, with caregivers saying:
“Awesome day well done, great mix of learning & sharing, fabulous Kai, kids came home having had a fun day, adults had a mix of fun, learning new or refreshing up on old skills, sharing, being real, being open and vulnerable and building new connections”.
“Wow! Today was full of fun and we were so blessed to be part of it. Many thanks to Chris and everyone that helped with the organisation of the mahi today. I’m so proud of everyone who came and participated. Caring Families Aotearoa matters. Thanks to the many sponsors, we totally appreciated the wonderful spot prizes. Big thanks goes out to Caring Families Aotearoa for supporting Chris and her team, thanks to VOYCE for keeping our tamariki safe and for the fun they had”.
In New Plymouth, Teena, our North West Regional Coordinator organised an evening event with stargazing, story telling and kai (food).
In Taranaki, it is hard to see the stars of Matariki. Instead, they are able to look for the ‘Puanga’ star. Caregivers and tamariki enjoyed lots of delicious kai (food), stories, and searched for the Puanga star.
Leanne, the Upper North Regional Coordinator, with support from Voyce Whakarongo Mai, Jigsaw North, and E Tū Whānau ngā Kiamahi Toa organised an event called Puanga with Pio – Building Awesome Whānau.
During the event, caregivers and tamariki enjoyed a dessert buffet while they learned about Matariki and were entertained by Pio Terei.
A big thank you to June Pitman-Haye who performed waiata from her children’s books; “Who are the Stars of this Show?”