New Matariki podcast ready to download

A new podcast focusing on Matariki produced by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is available for the first ever national public holiday celebrating Matariki on June 24.

Kellee and Millie at the Kerikeri Basin.
Kellee-Rei Harris and Millie Harris. Photo: HNZPTexpand/collapse

The 45-minute podcast features interviews with five Māori Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga staff who share their wide-ranging thoughts and experiences about Matariki. The result is a fascinating and timely overview of Matariki – and the different meaning it has for different people.

“This project has been wonderful to work on and has really put the spotlight on the incredible team of professionals that work for our organisation,” says Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Outreach Advisor Dr Rosemary Baird, who coordinated the production of the podcast with Kaitohutohu Whanake Niki Partsch, who narrates the podcast.

“All of the five participants had their own particular take on Matariki and their own experiences which they share in the podcast. It’s a pleasure to listen to their different insights.”

We wanted to find a way to share our colleagues’ experiences and memories — Rosemary Baird
Pouārahi Tharron Bloomfield sits in Auckland's CBD.
Tharron Bloomfield. Photo: HNZPTexpand/collapse

The podcast kicks off with Mid Northern Pouārahi Tharron Bloomfield who talks about the recent experience of he and his whanau growing, harvesting and eating taputini – a variety of kumara that were originally cultivated by Māori. Kerikeri Mission Station guide Millie Harris then talks about Matariki representing a way of life that she grew up with – not just one season in the year – which she has come to deeply appreciate.

For Kellee-Rei Harris – also a guide at Kerikeri Mission Station – Matariki wasn’t celebrated growing up in urban Wellington. Today, however, Matariki is an important aspect of reconnecting with her culture and her whakapapa roots in Te Tai Tokerau.

Christchurch-based Pouarahi Southern, and former professional chef, Nigel Harris, talks about his kai gathering and cooking preparations for a magnificent Matariki feast, while Matene Simon – Pou Whaihanga (Mātauranga Māori Built Heritage Team) – recalls his experiences of Matariki growing up and his participation in the revival of the ancient Matariki ceremony, Te Hautapu Umukohukohu Whetū, at Taurua Marae Rotoiti last year.

“We know people are curious about how to celebrate Matariki and about the ancient mātauranga and evolved traditions which are acknowledged through our new national public holiday,” says Rosemary.

“We wanted to find a way to share our colleagues’ experiences and memories as part of this exciting new celebration.”

Listen to the podcast now via Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Matene Simon in Matangireia in Parliament.
Matene Simon. Photo: HNZPTexpand/collapse