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Information about  Matariki and events to celebrate Matariki hosted by Whangarei District Libraries.
Updated: 3/06/2021 11:17 a.m.

Whangarei Takiwa Matariki banner .

About Matariki

Matariki is the name given by Māori to a cluster of stars, part of a constellation known in Western astronomy as Pleiades (or Subaru in Japan). The appearance of the stars in the dawn sky in late May, early June marks the start of a new phase of life - the Aotearoa Pacific new year.

While various Iwi celebrate Matariki at different times, most festivities begin at the next new moon after Matariki has risen. In 2021 this Pipiri is 2 to 10 July.

There are two English translations of Matariki - mata riki (tiny eyes) or mata ariki (eyes of god) referring to the eyes watching over the land and its people.

The celebration of Matariki has undergone a revival in recent years, with a growing awareness among New Zealanders of Māori traditions contributing to their unique cultural identity.

Matariki is a growing tradition celebrating people, language, spirituality and history.

2021 Matariki events

Free activities for all ages to celebrate Matariki, hosted by Whangarei District Libraries.

Matariki Whānau Day

Saturday 12 June 10am to 3pm, Te Kotahitanga, Forum North, 7 Rust Ave 

Matariki Children's Kite Workshop

Make and decorate your own Matariki kite. All materials provided.
Free for children of all ages. Children under 12 to be accompanied by an adult.

In association with Creative Northland.

Creative Northland logo.

Introduction to Flax Weaving – Basics

Māori Room Central Library, 9.30 am - 12.30pm
Wednesday 16 June and Thursday 17 June

Suitable for adults with little or no flax working experience. 10 people per class.
(Each day is the same activity for different people).

Pre-registration required by 5pm Friday 4 June.
Register by email to:

Introduction to Flax Weaving – BasicsPLUS

Māori Room Central Library, 9.30 am - 12.30pm
Wednesday 23 June and Thursday 24 June

Suitable for adults who have completed the Basics workshop or have had a similar amount of flax weaving experience. 6 people per class. (Each day is the same activity for different people).

Pre-registration required by 5pm Friday 18 June.
Register by email to:

Lunchtime Matariki Talk - Taipari Munro: Puanga and Matariki

Friday 25 June, 12:30 - 1:30pm, Teen Space, Whangarei Central Library

Taipari Munro, well respected kaumatua and educator in the Whangarei area, will be speaking about the status of the stars Puanga and Matariki from the perspective of a northern culture.

Free entry. No prior booking required. Seating on a first come, first served basis.

Ngā Ika Matariki - Flax Fish Mural

Saturday 3 July 10.30am to 12.30pm, Whangarei Central Library

An invitation to children of all ages to learn how to make an  ika (fish) from kōrari (flax) and create a Matariki mural for display in the library.

Free entry. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Matariki Crafts

Wednesday 7 July, 10am - 11.30am, May Bain Room, Whangarei Central Library

Come along to our Library Craft Group for adults. Enjoy the company of fellow crafters for a special Matariki themed crafting workshop.  Have a cuppa and make new friends along the way.

 It's a free drop-in group so no registration required.

Matariki Preschool Funtimes

Preschool Funtime sessions with Maori themes, crafts, stories and waiata to celebrate Matariki.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tikipunga Library, 10 - 11 am

  • Tuesday 8 June
  • Tuesday 15 June
  • Tuesday 22 June
  • Tuesday 29 June
  • Tuesday 6 July.

Whangarei Central Library, 10 - 11am

  • Wednesday 9 June & Thursday 10 June
  • Wednesday 16 June & Thursday 17 June
  • Wednesday 23 June & Thursday 24 June
  • Wednesday 30 June & Thursday 1 July
  • Wednesday 7 July & Thursday 8 July.





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