Entry forms for the 2023 "Journeys" Multimedia Art Exhibition are available online now. Click here




21 - 23 June: Weaving Wānanga

We're continuing our partnership with Te Waiau Mahika Kai Trust to offer another awesome raranga (weaving) learning opportunity.

The venue is Te Kōawa Lodge in Blackmount, and the attendees will be provided accommodation there for the two nights.

$50pp and there's limited space so registrations are essential.

Full event details here

24 June - 07 July: Multimedia Art Exhibition

We're thrilled to be supporting Fiordland Arts Society with another Matariki Multimedia Art Exhibition

Free for all ages to enter and no commission on any works sold. Entries close 20 June. Entry forms and Ts and Cs are online.

The exhibition will be open to the public at The Arts Hub Te Anau between 24 June - 04 July 

Full event details here

05 July: Community Remembrance Evening

We're joining together with the Fiordland Community Garden again, to offer anyone in our community to remember loved ones passed.

Hot soup, sausages and bread will be available from 6PM with lantern lighting commencing at 6:30PM.

Full event details here

06 July: Kapa Haka and Te Reo Classes

Saturday, July 06 at Te Anau Lakeside Church

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM   Kapa Haka Wānanga
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM     Te Reo Māori 101

Thanks to the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) this is the third installment in a series wānanga to be held in Fiordland over 2 years.

Full event details here

As the days become shorter and autumn draws to a close, Māori across the motu look to the skies to mark the end of one year and the beginning of the next. For many iwi, the appearance of the star cluster Matariki signals these events.

The next Matariki public holiday will be observed on Friday 28 June 2024, and this is the third year our nation will recognise the Māori New Year as a public holiday.

However, it's important to note that in Te Wāipounamu, and a number of other places, it is not the constellation of Matariki, but the star Puaka (Rigel in Orion) that heralds the New Year.

Puaka and Matariki

Sources: Matariki.com, Takai , Dr Jim Williams , Puanga Learning, TWOA and Kauwhata Reo

In some iwi, like Ngai Tahu, Matariki isn’t celebrated — instead it is the arrival of the star Puaka (Rigel) that is given recognition. You may hear some say 'Puanga' but the Ngai Tahu dialect is 'Puaka'.

While Puaka and Matariki are both associated with the Māori New Year, they are not one in the same. Matariki is a cluster of stars that isn't able to be seen as clearly in some parts of Aotearoa, like Murihiku Southland. Puaka is a single star and it's the brightest star in the constellation Orion. 

Whether you observe Puaka or Matariki, the Māori New Year is a time to pause for reflection, to learn from the past and to plan for the future. It's a period of hope, review, renewal and revival. It's a time when loved ones are remembered and celebrated and it's a time for sharing stories.

Matariki and Puaka are both part of Te Waka o Rangi, the waka that carries the souls of those who passed away during the previous year. Matariki is at the front of the waka, and Puaka (along with Tautoru) is at the stern. Traditionally it was thought that the crops of the coming season were influenced by how visible and bright the stars were. If they were really bright, warmer weather could be expected, resulting in a more productive crop.

The Māori New Year
Te Mātahi o te Tau

The three major principles of the Māori New Year are:

  • Remembrance – honouring those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki or Puaka.

  • Celebrating the present – gathering to give thanks for what we have.

  • Looking to the future – looking forward to the promise of a new year.

If you want to find out more about the Matariki constellation and what each star represents, download our one-page resource, written specifically for the Fiordland community by Māori astronomer Victoria Campbell (Ngāi Tahu), member of the Matariki Advisory Committee.

Further reading from the Museum of New Zealand

To support NZ embracing the indigenous New Year, Te Papa Tongarewa provides these online resources:

Te Anau Waitangi Charitable Trust creates opportunities for culturally significant days and seasons in Aotearoa, to be acknowledged in Fiordland and Māoritanga to be visible in the community. 


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