Matariki, Environment and Wellbeing

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

During Term Two, you and your ākonga may start preparing for the return of Matariki or Puanga, with the public holiday falling on Friday June 28th this year. In this spotlight 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 Matariki holiday is that it’s one way in which mātauranga Māori can 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 Mātāmua

Living by the Stars

Professor Rangi Mātāmua (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, 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. He is also the deserving winner of the 2023 New Zealander of the Year award!

Visit the Living by the Stars website to explore a range of 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.

Te Papa: Matariki Akonga Nui

This new online resource from Te Papa, Matariki Akonga Nui, includes a selection of teaching and learning activities which uncover the meaning and stories of Matariki, the values that relate to this special time of the year, and the ways in which you can celebrate it with your ākonga in your setting.

Matariki Akonga Nui empowers teachers and learners to care for, protect, and restore our environment and biodiversity through encouraging active citizenship and participation for a better world. It emphasises the importance of place-based stories in developing an authentic understanding of Matariki.

Accessible, fun, and easy to use, Matariki Akonga Nui is divided into three sections: Explore, Celebrate, Play; with the first two linked specifically to Te Mātaiaho, the refreshed New Zealand curriculum in Social Sciences (including ANZ Histories).

NZEI | Te Riu Roa: Matariki and our Tamariki

As part of the ECE Voice campaign in 2020, NZEI | Te Riu Roa hosted a series of nine online professional learning sessions, with a focus on each the whetū of Matariki. With an amazing list of guest speakers including Mihi Tibble, Heeni Hoterene, Rangi Mātāmua and India Logan-Riley, this online resource offers practical and inspirational learning for early childhood and primary educators.

Watch the recorded webinars here

Matariki is the whetū 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.

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 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.

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.

To support kaiako to use this innovative and important report, the Hub team released articles in 2022, highlighting each whetū and aspect of the environment.  Explore the articles on their website now.

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.

Pukapuka | Books

Some great new books were released or updated last year, in preparation for our first public holiday celebrating Matariki. Here are a few suggestions, but let us know what your favourite pukapuka are to use with your students!

Te Papa: Matariki Activity Book, free to download and available in te reo Māori or English

Matariki Around the World: A cluster of stars and cluster of stories by Miriama Kamo and Rangi Mātāmua

The Astromancer: The Rising of Matariki and Te Kōkōrangi: Te Aranga o Matariki by Witi Ihimaera and illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

Matariki by Kirsten Parkinson & Kitty Brown

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