Skip Content
Te Kōhanga Reo o Raumanga Kōhungahunga

Kids from a Whangarei kohanga reo were the first in the country to experience Te Iwa o Matariki and it wasn’t just ngā tamariki who learned something from the impressive roadshow.

The Reo Ora initiative, which challenges commonly held misconceptions about Matariki, features a 15-minute video screened in a purpose-built truck fitted with a panoramic screen and surround sound.
It aims to re-educate New Zealanders about Matariki and debuted in Whangarei last week.

Among the first through the doors were ngā tamariki no Te Kōhanga Reo o Raumanga Kōhungahunga.

Kohanga kaiako Lezalea Claridge says when they heard about Te Iwa o Matariki visiting their neighbouring Te Wānanga o Aotearoa campus “we knew we had to come”.

“It was a real eye opener, to see and learn more about the actual stars and who they are. To me, Matariki was always about the new year and celebrating culture. To hear there are specific times when you can see the stars, well, it's just good to know these days as there's been no one there to show us.”

She says the kohanga was already busy with Matariki kaupapa and they were excited to add Te Iwa o Matariki to their maramataka.

“We held a whānau day for tamariki to celebrate their tupuna which was really neat,” she says.

“They put on a kapa haka show and made taonga whetū, ngā pikitia and key rings to gift to their koro and kuia.”

Rangatahi from Huanui College and Te Kura Kaupapa o Rawhitiroa also visited Te Iwa o Matariki and learned there were two more whētu the ancestors acknowledged - Pōhutukawa – which has a connection to the afterlife - and Hiwaiterangi, which attends to our future aspirations and dreams.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Poutiaki Reo Paraone Gloyne told the rangatahi not to let media dictate to them what and when Matariki - or Ngā mata ō te Āriki ō Tāwhirimatea - was.

“They're not seven sisters, those are things we've taken from other cultures. Scientifically there are millions of stars in the constellation. We've introduced two new old-stars into the family and each has great significance for te ao Māori,” he says.

Te Iwa o Matariki is touring the North Island and has so far visited Whangarei, Rotorua and Gisborne and is in Porirua today. The haerenga finishes at the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Super 12 Kapa Haka event, taking place at The Cloud in Downtown Auckland on Saturday, July 9. 

 Back to news & events

Published On: 5 July, 2016

Article By: Carly Tawhiao



Other Articles

  • 24 January 2023

    From Kenya to Aotearoa - Toi and its many connection's

    Jennifer Dickerson, a self-proclaimed "Third Culture Kid" due to her unique upbringing around the world, has discovered who she is through art.

  • 19 December 2022

    Masters opens door to book project

    Juggling work as Communications Advisor for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa while completing his masters, and writing a book has meant Tracey Cooper’s plate has been rather full recently. Fortunately with his exegesis completed, book published and work in wind-down mode for Christmas he’s able to take a breather and reflect on his journey through study.

  • 15 December 2022

    ‘Rererangi ki te Ao’ Opens doors at Kirikiriroa Airport

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Kairuruku and Pouwhenua Whakairo (master carver), Professor Kereti G. Rautangata, (nō Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Koroki Kahukura) and his team of carvers have left their mark on a significant piece of the Waikato landscape.

  • 14 December 2022

    Making a difference with mau rākau

    Tamiaho Searancke, who started learning the art of mau rākau at age three from his kuia and kaumatua, has guided another cohort of tauira through their journey of learning the ancient Māori martial art.