The new Māori calendar year begins on the first full moon after Matariki becomes visible on the eastern horizon. Matariki is a time to prepare the land for planting in the spring. Matariki also has great significance for ocean voyagers as a navigation beacon.
From early June, before sunrise, look to the north-east horizon. Look for a faint sparkle of tiny dots, about the same width as Tautoru is long… This is the Matariki star cluster.
Tohunga kōkōrangiTohunga kōkōrangi expert astronomers used stars and star clusters such as Matariki to help them navigate great distances across the Pacific. Today, there is a revival of these traditional navigation skills.
This Matariki we focus on the symbol of the star intermingled with the dynamic Kowhaiwhai pattern. For a bit of added luck, we have the Tiki symbol proudly suspended inside our starry landscape. Our Kete tote bags represent abundance and the precious nature of planted foods. And our new Takapu (gannet) cushions honor this extraordinary sea navigator.