Special day of Matariki events includes Canadian nursing link for new year

August 1, 2021

Matariki has appeared again in the skies, and NZNO celebrated the start of a new year with a special day of events in July.

NZNO kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku
NZNO kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku

In true Matariki spirit they included strengthening links with nurses from the other side of the world.

On July 8, Matariki started early with Te Rūnanga, Te Poari and staff gathering on the Wellington waterfront to watch the constellation rise over the harbour.

During the gathering, including karakia and waiata led by NZNO kaumātua Keelan Ransfield, the entire proceedings were streamed to members of the Canadian Nurses Association, watching from the opposite hemisphere and different time zone.

The overseas link continued after the Matariki gathering, with an online hui back at NZNO headquarters.

Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said Matariki was a special event and she hoped that across Aotearoa it didn’t become commercialised.

‘Because, it needs to be raw and authentic; it needs to be about connecting with the environment and sharing with others.’

NZNO kaumātua Keelan Ransfield speaks at the Matariki dinner event.
NZNO kaumātua Keelan Ransfield speaks at the Matariki dinner event.

“Because, it needs to be raw and authentic; it needs to be about connecting with the environment and sharing with others – and that’s where the engagement with the Canadians came on.”

She said the Canadian association was on a journey to improve its own relationship with the indigenous people of that country.

She said the members had the “right heart” to make necessary progress.

“They’re changing the structures to accommodate the new way of doing things. But it takes small steps in a country where people have been brainwashed all those years.”

The Matariki events continued into the evening with a special dinner, including a video presentation on the constellation that signals the start of a new year in te ao Māori.

The audience enjoys a night celebrating Matariki.
The audience enjoys a night celebrating Matariki.