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Te ao Māori shines at Auckland Council Libraries this Matariki

Published: 29 June 2020

As the Matariki stars rise in the sky this winter, it’s a great time of year to celebrate and grow your knowledge of Matariki and te ao Māori (the Māori world).

Join the fun and learn about Matariki through free activities for the whole whānau at Auckland Council Libraries; from Matariki-themed events (starting in July) and school holiday activities, to a Matariki augmented reality experience, discovering rare Māori taonga or researching your whakapapa.

Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee Chair Councillor Alf Filipaina says, “it’s great to see Auckland Council Libraries bring together our local communities to connect and celebrate Matariki, the Māori New Year.

"Head along to your local library with your whānau and make the most of the wide range of free Matariki resources that they offer.”

Celebrate and learn about Matariki

From 1-15 July, libraries across Auckland will be celebrating Matariki with online, takeaway or in-library events and activities, as part of Auckland Council’s regionwide Matariki Festival. Take part in activities for all ages to celebrate and learn about the Matariki season.

This year, a unique Matariki augmented reality experience is also available. This collaboration with Afed Limited showcases imagery about the connection between the stars of Matariki (Pleiades) to the land and environment. Check out the Auckland Council Libraries Facebook page and website to connect to this experience and enter our Matariki competition to win prizes.

Learn about the history and traditions of Matariki and how celebrations have changed over the years through Matariki recommended book lists. This is also a great time of year to grow your te reo Māori skills and knowledge with the latest titles on Māori language, protocols, customs and the Treaty of Waitangi for kids and adults.

Tamariki activities

These July school holidays, tamariki will love taking part in the free school holiday events inspired by a Matariki theme of 'Shine Bright'. Take the whānau and join in as we celebrate light and stars.

Wrap up with the tamariki on a cold winter solstice day and watch some old family favourites through our video streaming service Beamafilm. There are also books in te reo Māori for beginner child readers and colourful picture books that bring Matariki and te ao Māori to life for younger readers.

Discover the significance of Matariki symbolism and research your whakapapa

Listen to the fascinating Matariki podcast “Matariki - Tihi maunga ki te tihi maunga” by Robert Eruera, Poukōkiri Taonga Tuku Iho Māori / Senior Māori Curator, who delved into the heritage collection and selected a letter that was written by a Tainui rangatira, Rewi Maniapoto to the government of the day. Robert talks about how in these letters, Rewi uses the symbols of Matariki to assert rangatiratanga (self-governance) and mana.

Matariki is a time for reflection and acknowledgement of our tupuna (ancestors) and a great opportunity to work on your family history. Use Auckland Council Libraries’ fantastic resources to help you research your whakapapa or family history.  For more help contact one of our friendly Māori research staff or ask an expert online or at one of our research centres.

Manu tukutuku (traditional Māori kites) continue to be used to celebrate Matariki. Auckland Libraries hold some of the earliest known pen and ink kite drawings illustrated by Māori in 1818. Delve into a treasure trove of rare Māori taonga held at Auckland Council Libraries that can be accessed at Kura Heritage Collections Online.

Other interesting online collections you can browse include the Treaty of Waitangi Collection of eBooks and the Iwidex index that provides information on Māori waka, traditions, waiata, haka, tribal whenua, maunga, marae and whakapapa. The Maori Land Court Minute Books share access to information found in the minute books from 1865 to 1910.

Find out more

This Matariki, visit or head to your local library to discover the diverse range of free Māori resources and services on offer for the whole whānau.


Matariki Festival 2020 to close with kōrero, star gazing and waiata

Send wishes to Hiwa i te Rangi the wishing star, bring the whānau to a fun family day of poi making, weaving and waiata, and learn from kōrero and livestreams marking the Māori new year.

Matariki Festival – see the Matariki stars rise

Join Māori astronomy experts and view the Matariki stars from 13 to 15 July, ushering in the Māori new year.

Huinga Kōrero – Te Reo Māori Conversation Group

Join this casual Māori conversation group at Central City Library.