By Troy Brockbank (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi)
Water New Zealand Board Member & Kaitohutohu Matua Taiao (WSP)
Matariki atua ka eke mai i te rangi e roa,
E whāngainga iho ki te mata o te tau e roa e.
Divine Matariki come forth from the far-off heaven,
Bestow the first fruits of the year upon us.
Matariki is an important event for Aotearoa New Zealand that occurs every year and signals the start of the Māori new year. Matariki is a time to celebrate, reflect, and acknowledge the past, present and future.
Matariki (Pleaides) is a cluster of stars that are visible in the night sky at a specific time of the year. It disappears from our view in Haratua (April/May) and reappears on the dawn horizon in Pipiri (June/July). This year Matariki is anticipated to rise between the 13-16th July 2020.
Acknowledging and celebrating Matariki has in recent years become an increasingly important part of our national conversation and identity. It has significantly aided in the naturalisation of Te Ao Māori (Māori worldviews) in communities and ignited all cultures to celebrate their relationship with the whenua (land). Now we are talking about the possibility of Matariki becoming a national holiday.
Interestingly there are three stars (Waipuna-ā-rangi, Waitī, Waitā) within the Matariki star cluster that have a deep connection with water.
In addition, there are other stars in the Matariki cluster that also associated with elements of Te Hurihanga wai (the water cycle);
Matariki is also a time to celebrate new life, remember those who’ve passed and to plan for the future.So to all our members and those in the wider water sector, we hope you are enjoying this time to welcome new arrivals and reflect on the life and contribution of those who have passed this year.
Matariki hunga, Matariki ahunga nui.
Matariki has many admirers, Matariki brings us together