With Matariki just over a month away, a booklet has been released that contains karakia (Māori incantations and prayer) for each of the nine stars of Matariki.
Members of Parliament Kelvin Davis and Willow-Jean Prime announced the new booklet, titled ‘Mānawatia a Matariki: Matariki Karakia’, will be sent to schools and communities across Aotearoa in hopes more and more people will embrace the country’s newest public holiday.
This year will be the second time Matariki is celebrated, with Davis saying he loved how New Zealand got behind it last year and hopes to build on that momentum.
“It was a beautiful moment to see how the nation took joy in celebrating and embracing Matariki last year,” he said in a press release.
“Data suggests at least 87% of New Zealanders now have some understanding of what Matariki is about and means – that is phenomenal.”
“The job now is to embed the day into our calendar while ensuring it remains grounded in mātauranga Māori and upholds the key principles and values associated with Matariki.”
Willow-Jean Prime sees Matariki as something Kiwis should be proud of for its uniqueness to our country and culture.
“Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki is part of the fabric of Aotearoa, a day we can proudly claim as our own and one that is for all New Zealanders,” she said.
“In sharing these karakia, we are empowering all New Zealanders to take part in our uniquely Aotearoa public holiday in a way that acknowledges mātauranga Māori and speaks to the principles of remembering those who have passed, celebrating the present and planning for the future.”
Professor Rangi Mātāmua, AKA ‘The man behind Matariki’ and the most recent New Zealander of the Year, shares that the booklet is important in helping future generations understand the meaning behind the holiday.
“It is incredibly special to have been in Te Waipounamu today, amongst the embrace of Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, Te Rūnanga o Waihao and Te Rūnanga o Moeraki and tamariki from a number of schools in this region as we presented this taonga, which is ultimately for our mokopuna,” he said.
The booklet can be viewed here, as well as other supporting resources.