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27 April 2022

Masterton District Council is inviting applications from groups and individuals planning community events for Matariki, offering grants of up to $500 to help organisers, and planning a map of events running from 20-26 June.

New Zealand’s first Matariki public holiday is on Friday 24 June.

To register for inclusion on the Follow the Stars events map for Te Ara O Ngā Whetū O Matariki, and apply for a grant, activities must be aligned to one of the nine stars in Matariki (set out below) and be open to the public.

Registrations are required by Friday 20 May and can be made via the Council website here or using hard copy forms available at the Council’s Queen Street Office or Masterton District Library.

Council Manager Community Facilities and Activities Corin Haines said it was important to mark the first Matariki holiday.

“This is a time of celebration, and it’s also an opportunity for the community to lead activities and events educating the public on the significance of Matariki,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to some exciting ideas that the whole community can be a part of.”

Matariki rises in midwinter and for many Māori heralds the start of a new year. It is a time to celebrate new life, remember those who’ve passed and to plan for the future. And it’s a time to spend with whānau and friends – to enjoy kai (food), waiata (song), tākaro (games), and haka.

Each of the stars in Matariki has a particular significance in te ao Māori.

Matariki –  Matariki is the star that signifies reflection, hope, our connection to the environment and the gathering of people. Matariki is also connected to the health and wellbeing of people.

Pohutukawa – Pōhutukawa is the star connected to those that have passed on.

Waitī – Waitī is connected with all fresh water bodies and the food sources that are sustained by those waters.

Waitā – is associated with the ocean, and food sources within it.

Waipuna-ā-Rangi – Waipuna-ā-Rangi is connected with the rain.

Tupuānuku – Tupuānuku is the star connected with everything that grows within the soil to be harvested or gathered for food.

Tupuārangi – Tupuārangi is connected with everything that grows up in the trees: fruits, berries and birds.

Ururangi – Ururangi is the star connected with the winds.

Hiwa-i-te-rangi – Hiwa-i-te-Rangi is the star connected with granting our wishes, and realising our aspirations for the coming year.