Matariki rises, a new year begins…

July 1, 2021

NZNO kaumātua Keelan Ransfield offers karakia for the new year and explains the significance of Matariki, the constellation made up of nine whetū (stars).

The appearance of Matariki was carefully observed by tohunga (cultural and spiritual leaders) and the brightness of the different stars in the cluster, along with their movement and clarity would determine the bounty of the impending season…

Karakia mo te urunga mai o Matariki

Whanake mai ngā mata o te Ariki
Whanake mai te tohu o te tau
Whanake mai Matariki hunga nui

Arise the eyes of god
Arise the signs of the year
Arise Matariki who gathers the masses

The names of those who had died since the last rising of Matariki were called out in the presence of the star cluster. Māori believe Matariki cares for those that die throughout the year, and when it rises again, the spirits of those passed become stars in the sky. Māori would mourn at this moment, and the tears and wailing would send the loved ones into the heavens to become stars…

Karakia mo Pōhutukawa

E tū Pōhutukawa
Te Kaiwake i nga mate o te tau
Haere ra koutou ki te uma o Ranginui
Hei whetū i te kete nui a Tane
Koia ra! Kua whetūrangitia koutou kei āku rau kahu rangi

Behold Pōhutukawa
Who carries the dead of the year
Onward the departed to the chest of the sky
To become a star in the Milky Way

Because many of the different stars in Matariki are associated with food, and its role is to care for our dead and bring forth the bounty of the year, Māori give thanks to the star cluster by offering food. Before the rising of Matariki, special food is taken from the gardens, forests, rivers and oceans and is cooked in an earth oven. This oven is uncovered, in the steam of the food rises into the sky to feed Matariki…

Karakia mo Tupu-a-Nuku rāua ko Tupu-a-Rangi

E tū Tupu-a-Niku
E tū Tupu-a-Rangi
Ka matomato ki raro
Ka pōkai tara ki runga

Behold Tupuānuku
Behold Tupuārangi
Let the earth be lush
Let the sky be full of birds

Karakia mo Waitī rāua ko Waitā

E tū Waitī
E tū Waitā
Te tini o Tangaroa
Te mano o Hinemoana

Behold Waitī
Behold Waitā
The abundance of the ocean
The plenty of the waterways

Karakia mo Waipunarangi rāua ko Ururangi

E tū Waipunarangi
E tū Ururangi
He ua kōpatapata
He hau miri i te whenua

Behold Waipunarangi
Behold Ururangi
Give us rain
Give us wind

Karakia mo Hiwa-i-te-rangi

E tū Hiwa-i-te-rangi
Te kauwaka o te manako nui
Anei ngā tōmino o te ngakau
Hel whakatinanatanga mau

Behold Hiwa-i-te-rangi
The medium of my desire
You know what I yearn for
Make my dreams come true

Karakia whakamutunga Matariki, hei whakaoti (karakia conclusion)

Matariki Atua ka eke ki runga
Nau mai ngā hua
Nau mai ngā taonga
Nau mai ngā mātahi o te tau
Haumi e
Hui e
Taiki e

Matariki has risen
Welcome the fruits of the year
Welcome the many treasures
Welcome the New Year