Matariki, Environment and Wellbeing

Matariki is a time for reflection and strengthening connections between people and te taiao.

As we prepare for the first Matariki public holiday on June 24, we have gathered resources to support kaiako with their own learning, as well as activities that can be used with ākonga. 

"The beauty of the upcoming Matariki holiday is that it’s one way in which mātauranga Māori will connect us all. There isn’t a single person in the world who doesn’t come from a culture or background where people looked up to the sky — for inspiration, for navigation, for understanding time."                         - Dr Rangi Matamua
‍Living by the Stars

Professor Rangi Matamua (Tūhoe) is a pioneering Māori scholar who is renowned for his role communicating his research in an accessible and engaging way. He is both the author of the bestselling book Matariki: The Star of the Year (published both in English and te reo Māori editions), presenter of the award winning te reo Māori web series Living by the Stars and has an extensive social media following on his Living by the Stars page.

Visit the Living by the Stars website to explore these useful resources, including online presentations and short videos, along with books and posters that can be ordered through the website.

Read this article from the Education Gazette, highlighting schools who have been using the Living by the Stars resources to connect with their community and te taiao.

Science Learning Hub

The Matariki Star Cluster - Te Kāhui o Matariki page provides a useful overview for teachers, including ideas for activities and links to related articles.

The recent Environment Aotearoa 2022 report, from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, uses Matariki as a framework to weave mātauranga Māori through environmental reporting. It also focuses on links between the wellbeing of people and te taiao.

To support kaiako to use this innovative and important report, the Hub team is releasing articles each week, from May until the end of June, highlighting each whetū and aspect of the environment.  Explore the articles on their website now and follow their Facebook page to receive updates.

Interweaving different knowledge systems presents a richer and more relevant picture of the whole environment and the connections with people. This approach to environmental reporting is unique to Aotearoa and is distinctive from other approaches around the world.

Kids Greening Taupō Online Classroom

The team at Kids Greening Taupō (KGT) have pulled together a wide range of resources on their Matariki online nature classroom page, including videos, books and practical activity ideas. These are easy to share with whānau and can provide some useful starting points for your inquiry work this term.

KGT have an excellent selection of resources that are written in or support the use of te reo Māori, which you can explore on their website here.

Kiwi Conservation Club

The educators at KCC have produced Te Iwa o Matariki 2022, which includes nine activities for tamariki that are linked to the stars of Matariki and nature. With a focus on using their eyes, hands and voice, these activity ideas encourage ākonga to learn about important issues in their local environment and empower them to take action.

Here is an example of one of the activities:

Hiwa-i-te-rangi is a wishing star, who helps us to recognise our hopes, dreams and aspirations for the coming year. She encourages us to hold firm to our goals, and seek out opportunities to see them realised.

Climate change is the biggest problem we face, and we need more action now.

We can all #bethechange. Come up with your own design for a climate action sign to show your commitment, and to encourage others to get on board too.

Visit the KCC website now to explore all nine activities.

Main article image: Environment Aotearoa 2022, Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ