Studio Pacific Celebrates Matariki

The predawn rising of Matariki, a cluster of stars, in the mid-winter sky marks the changing of the seasons and the beginning of Te Mātahi o te Tau, the Māori New Year.

Ahead of Te Rā Aro ki Matariki – the second official public holiday celebrating Matariki in New Zealand – our studios in Auckland and Wellington held a parakuihi, followed with a wānanga about Te Tau Toro Nui O Matariki: The Māori Lunar Calendar led by Studio Pacific’s Te Waharua Chair and Landscape Architecture Graduate Matt Wakelin.

In pre-colonial times, the passing of time was observed through an extensive and intrinsic understanding of the sun, stars, moon phases and their relationship with flowering plants and behaviour of animals in a context unique to Aotearoa. These understandings form Te Tau Toru Nui O Matariki: The Māori Lunar Calendar, which links stars and the passing of time to the observable cycles of our natural environment and allowing us to be a part of them. Our kōrerorero explored what the Māori year is, how we can observe it, and how it can be relevant today.

Te Waharua’s kaupapa is to tautoko Studio Pacific in giving effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi in our projects and practice. We aim to achieve this by growing our understanding of and collaboration with Te Ao Māori, supporting Māori and iwi in our design and studio practices, and amplifying the creative energies of our communities and wider whānau.

Mānawatia a Matariki ki a tātou!