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Reflecting on the rich history of Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa marae this Matariki

Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki, 
Mānawa maiea te ariki o te rangi, 

Mānawa maiea te Mātahi o te tau. 

Celebrate the rising of Matariki, 
Celebrate the rising of the lord of the sky, 
Celebrate the rising of the New Year. 

The rising of Te Kāhui o Matariki, the Matariki star cluster, marks the beginning of the Māori New Year. As we approach this special season, it is a time for us to embrace the essence of reflection, celebration, and preparation. 

During Matariki, we are called upon to remember and honour those who have departed since the last rising. It is an opportunity for our community to come together, expressing gratitude for the blessings of the present while eagerly anticipating the promise and potential of the approaching New Year. 

The theme for this year is "Matariki Kāinga Hokia – Matariki calls you home." Matariki extends an invitation to each and every one of us to reconnect with our whānau (family) and our communities, regardless of their location or composition. It is an opportunity to embark on a journey back home, where we can celebrate, feast, and cherish the bonds that make up our whānau. 

Furthermore, our theme carries a profound environmental message. Matariki encourages us to strengthen our connection with our taiao (environment), including the maunga (mountains), awa (rivers), moana (oceans), and whenua (land) that shape our identities. It serves as a reminder of our responsibility to care for and protect the places we call home. 

This message holds particular significance for us here at Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa, as we reflect on the rich history of this whenua. Te Kōpū Mānia, the fertile lands that were once an abundant growing garden that nourished the multitudes of Waikato.  

In the spirit of Matariki, we are called to honour this legacy and uphold our role as Kaitiaki situated on this whenua and we are reminded of the importance of restoring and preserving the natural environment that sustains us at Wintec | Te Pūkenga. By nurturing our Taiao, we not only strengthen our connection to the land but also ensure its vitality for our ākonga, and future generations.  

A central part of Matariki traditions is the Whāngai i te Hautapu ceremony. This ceremony encompasses three essential aspects: remembrance, symbolically nourishing the stars of Matariki, and planning for the future by observing the rising of the constellation. It serves as an occasion to pay homage to our loved ones, nurture our spirits, and set intentions for the coming year. 

As part of our annual Horahia Matariki events, our Wintec | Te Pūkenga Whāngai i te Hautapu ceremony will be held Tuesday morning, 11 July at 6am here at Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa Marae, setting the scene for a day filled with cultural richness, celebration, and joy.  

You can also join the national Matariki festivities on Friday, 14 July, from 6:00am - 11:00am, that will be broadcast live on TV1. The day will commence at dawn with a traditional hautapu ceremony with full coverage from Ngongotahā maunga. 

Let us unite under Te Kāhui o Matariki, embracing the past, celebrating the present, and eagerly looking ahead to the future with renewed hope and gratitude. 

Mānawatia a Matariki! 

Celebrate Matariki! 

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