Matariki – forging our national identity

Matariki, the first national public holiday which recognises and celebrates mātauranga Māori will be celebrated on Friday 24 June 2022.


On Thursday, 7 April the Government passed Te Ture mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o Te Kāhui o Matariki/Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Act. 

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiritapu Allan noted the historic importance of the bill. “Today is a day of maturation for all of us, where we can look to our own selves, our own people right here, to let those laws, those principles, those philosophies guide who we are – all of us that live here in this nation.”

Mātauranga Māori will be at the heart of public Matariki celebrations, with gatherings across Aotearoa New Zealand. We will take time to consider the future and to celebrate and be thankful for what we have, and will also have a time for the remembrance of those who passed on since the last rising of Matariki.

The stars are significant to many cultures around the world. Dr Rangi Mātāmua is a leading expert on Māori Astronomy and the Matariki star cluster. He advises on how stars have guided Māori since the beginning of time. “We are sharing something that is particular and unique and special to us, in the hope that it will continue to forge our national identity.”

- Niki Partsch