Below is a selection of events held around New Zealand celebrating Matariki. Follow the web links to see the full listings. The public holiday this year is on 28 June.

Remember to check out what your local council is doing.

NOTE: If you know of events we have missed, please do get in touch: enquiries@sciencelearn.org.nz.

Rights: Fraser Gunn

Matariki (Pleiades) star cluster

Wayfinders have used the stars as a compass for millennia.

Northland

Puanga Matariki Festival

The Whangārei Puanga Matariki Festival is a special celebration with a series of cultural events, ranging from mural creations, star hunts, print making to a regatta and more.
Find out more: www.wdc.govt.nz/Events/Festivals/Matariki-Festival.

Auckland

Matariki Festival

15–28 June: Matariki Festival heralds the Māori new year in Tāmaki Makaurau by celebrating te ao Māori. The festival aims to create an environment where communities can come together to learn, reflect on and celebrate this special time of year – the season of Matariki.
Find out more: www.matarikifestival.org.nz/

Matariki – Ngā Whetū o te Tau Hou Matariki – The Stars of the New Year

14 May–27 June: Following four years of sell-out runs, Stardome’s annual Matariki celebrations returns for 2024. From the comfort of your planetarium seat, embark on a journey to ngā whetū (the stars) and beyond to uncover the purākau (stories) and significance of the Māori New Year.
Find out more: www.stardome.org.nz/movie/matariki---ng-whet-o-te-tau-hou

Matariki Planting Day

23 June: Matariki is a time to celebrate new beginnings so come along for some tree planting and help with the restoration of Tawa Esplanade.
Find out more: https://events.humanitix.com/matariki-planting-day

Bay of Islands

21 June–14 July: Matariki Pēwhairangi festival brings us together to acknowledge the reappearance of te kāhui o Matariki and Puanga above the early morning horizon in the stunning Bay of Islands. Explore their programme of incredible workshops, beautiful waiata, inspiring talks, feasts, star-gazing and family fun!
Find out more: https://matarikinz.com.

Waikato

Kukutaaruhe Education Trust – The Fairfield Project

26 June–29 June: Celebrate Matariki with this series of workshops, wananga and Hautapu Dawn Event by Kukutaaruhe Education Trust –The Fairfield Project. for this interested in attending Photography or Raranga workshops, please email at thefairfieldproject@gmail.com to register, as numbers are limited.
For more information see: www.thefairfieldproject.co.nz or www.facebook.com/thefairfieldproject.

Matariki at the Museum

21 June–29 July: Join the Waikato Museum for a range of free events, public talks, film screenings and more as we celebrate this special time of year. Maanawatia a Matariki!
Find out more: https://waikatomuseum.co.nz/exhibitions-and-events/view/2145883828/matariki-at-the-museum-2024

Rotorua

27–28 June: AROUNI Indigenous Arts Festival with First Lights presents ‘Matariki’, a drone light, sound and story event this midwinter at the Rotorua Lakefront, Aotearoa. Created by Māori artists Cian Elyse White (Ngāti Pikiao) and Mataia Keepa (Ngāti Whakaue), Matariki tells the stories of environmental markers connected to this star cluster, as well as the large Waka or Canoe (Te Waka o Rangi) and it’s captain Taramainuku.

Rights: Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Matariki – star associations

In te ao Māori, each of the whetū in the Matariki star cluster has an association with an aspect of wellbeing and the environment.

Wellington

Te Papa

Mānawatia a Matariki! Celebrate Matariki at Te Papa with a series of whakangahau, kōrero and whānau-friendly activities that allow you to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future.
Find out more: www.tepapa.govt.nz/visit/events/matariki-2024-te-papa

Matariki at the Museum

1 June–1 July: At Wellington Museum, the Te Whanganui a Tara space, will host a pōhutakawa star craft to commemorate loved ones, a Kapa haka performance, and a special Matariki Storytelling session with Moira Wairama.
Find out more: www.museumswellington.org.nz/matariki-at-the-museum-2/

Space Place

Matariki Lantern Making

28, 29, 30 June: Join Space Place in welcoming the Māori New Year and create a Matariki lantern with your whānau.
Find out more: www.museumswellington.org.nz/matariki-lantern-making

Teachers: remember the Pīataata Whetū x Puanga ki Matariki full-day programme for years 5–8. Find out more: www.museumswellington.org.nz/piataata-whetu-x-puanga-ki-matariki

Dawn Stargazing

11 and 18 June, 5–7 am: Join Space Place for two early morning sessions to watch Matariki and Puanga rising on the planetarium screen, preparing you to find these markers with the naked eye when they rise above Pōneke in June. Hear about the season’s significance to mana whenua and allow a peaceful moment to reflect upon the year gone, and the one to come. Note tickets sell out quickly.
Find out more: www.museumswellington.org.nz/manawatia-a-matariki

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

6–29 June: Celebrate Matariki at Te Papa with a series of whakangahau, kōrero and whānau-friendly activities that allow you to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future.
Find out more: www.tepapa.govt.nz/visit/events/matariki-2024-te-papa.

Canterbury

Matariki In the Zone

29 June: Along the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Matariki will be celebrated with activities for kids big and small – wood-carving, flax-weaving, marshmallow-toasting and more! There will also be a week-long trail lighting display.
Find out more here: www.eventfinda.co.nz/2024/matariki-in-the-zone/christchurch

Otago

Dunedin Puaka Matariki Festival 2024

26 June–3 July: (more information to come soon).
Find out more here:www.dunedin.govt.nz/services/funding-and-grants/puaka-matariki

He kōrero whetū – let’s talk stars

13 July: Part of Nanofest celebration, come along to this public talk about Matariki, maramataka and tātai aroraki (Māori Astronomy) by Kāi Tahu astronomer Victoria Campbell. The talk will explore knowledge of our southern tātai arorangi, its importance and relevance.
Find out more: https://scifest.org.nz/programme/he-korero-whetu-lets-talk

Related content

For more on Matariki check out the Hub’s article The Matariki star cluster.

Explore the wide range of resources we have on Matariki, there is a handy list here.

The webinar Picturebooks for Matariki support teachers to deepen our students and our own understanding of Matariki. The collection Matariki picture books and science contains the resources discussed during this webinar.

See our collection Matariki and Environment Aotearoa 2022 – this uses Te kāhui o Matariki to explore whetū and their domains.

Discover more about Mātauranga Māori and science and explore the range of resources under our mātauranga Māori topic.

Activity ideas

Naming the whetū in te kāhui o Matariki uses online and/or paper-based resources to identify and label the nine whetū in Matariki and learn about their associations with wellbeing and the environment.

Use this activity to teach some of the literacy components required to effectively interpret the infographics used in the Environment Aotearoa 2022 report.

Use this cross-curricular activity to explore written and visual components of the Environment Aotearoa 2022 report’s Matariki representations. Great inspiration for poetry and art!

Constellations in the night sky explores star clusters and constellations and cultural legends about them.

Useful links

See the Matariki website from the Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture & Heritage for more event listings, information about the importance of Matariki and more.

Dr Rangi Matamua, a leading expert on Matariki and Māori astronomy, on what it means – and the science that underpins it, How Matariki will connect us all.

Read this blog post on the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor website Aotearoa’s first mātauranga-based holiday by Dr Pauline Harris which explains how the Matariki holiday dates were calculated

See all events