CELEBRATING MATARIKI

Te kāhui o Matariki

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars that signal the beginning of a new year.

As the stories of Matariki differ between different iwi and hapu groups, so do the spelling of the stars’ names. Note that some spellings use hyphens and others do not.

Te iwa o Matariki

Although there are about a thousand stars in Matariki, nine stars are visible to the unaided eye. In te ao Māori, each of the whetū is associated with an aspect of wellbeing and the environment.

  • Matariki (Alcyone) – people’s health and wellbeing
  • Tupu-ā-rangi (Atlas) – things that grow up in trees, including fruits, berries and birds
  • Waipuna-ā-rangi (Electra) – rainfall
  • Waitī (Maia) – freshwater bodies and foods from these waters
  • Ururangi (Merope) – the winds
  • Tupu-ā-nuku (Pleione) – food that is gathered/harvested from the soil
  • Waitā (Taygeta) – the ocean and foods that come from it
  • Pōhutukawa (Sterope) – those who have passed on
  • Hiwa-i-te-rangi (Calaeno) – attainment of goals.

The positions of the whetū within the cluster are meaningful. For example, Waipuna-ā-rangi and Ururangi are above the other whetū because they represent the rain and the wind. Learn more about the whetū in the activity Naming the whetū in te kāhui o Matariki.

Te whānau Matariki

Matariki is the mother of the other eight whetū in the star cluster: Tupu-ā-rangi, Waipuna-ā-rangi, Waitī, Ururangi, Tupu-ā-nuku, Waitā, Pōhutukawa and Hiwa-i-te-rangi.

The rising of Matariki

Matariki is visible almost all year except for right before the Matariki celebration starts in June or July. The short time Matariki appears ‘hidden’ from our perspective on Earth, the star cluster is located behind the Sun.   We observe the rising of Matariki in the phase of the Moon called Tangaroa – the moon of plenty. The Moon is a crescent shape, just a few days away from the new moon phase. The date of its rising is predicted using the maramataka Māori – a lunar calendar that is aligned to the phases of the Moon.

Matariki is used to reset the maramataka Māori. The cycle of the Moon around Earth is different to the cycle of Earth around the Sun. The Moon cycle is around 11 days shorter than the solar cycle, meaning that, after 12 months, there are still about 11 days until Earth returns to the same position in its orbit. Stars can be used to reset the lunar calendar because they are in the same place in the sky at the same time in Earth’s orbit. This is why the rising of Matariki isn’t on the same day every year when using a standard 365-day solar calendar.   Māori possess a wealth of astronomical knowledge known as tātai arorangi. They also use the maramataka with each phase of the Moon indicating the favourable times for planting, fishing or eeling.

Matariki – star associations

In ea o Māori, each of the whetū in the Matariki star cluster has an association with an aspect of wellbeing and the environment.

 

Other cultures

Matariki is visible in many locations so has lots of names across different cultures. The Greek name is the Pleiades, in Japan it is called Subaru and in China it is Mao, the Hairy Head of the White Tiger of the West.

Stargazing

After Matariki, the star cluster gets easier to see as it rises earlier and earlier in the morning, then later and later at night. The cluster can be found by looking north-east after the festival of Matariki – find Orion’s Belt and follow the three stars across the sky to the left until you find Matariki. Once you find it the first time, you’ll always be able to spot it because of its distinctive grouping. This makes it a great class stargazing exercise.

Acknowledgement

This article has been written by Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, which has been operating since 1967. It is a place of exploration, research and sharing of knowledge and hosts New Zealand’s first and still largest planetarium theatre. Stardome Observatory and Planetarium celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017.

(Source: https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/2322-the-matariki-star-cluster)

WELCOME TO TIASA

THE SPECIALIST VOICE FOR ALLIED STAFF

 

The Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association (TIASA Te Hononga) is the professional association and union for allied (non-teaching/general) staff across the New Zealand tertiary education sector. If you work in an allied staff role at any level then TIASA is for you!

BIG ENOUGH TO MATTER, SMALL ENOUGH TO CARE.

 

JOIN US

Message from the President

Kia ora, Haere mai nau mai – Greetings, and Welcome to TIASA Te Hononga!  We are an excellent choice!  TIASA is the only specialist professional union for allied staff across the NZ tertiary education sector.   From universities, wananga, institutes of technology, polytechnics, private training establishments and other such organisations, allied staff are everywhere and so is TIASA.

Working together we provide a powerful and expert professional voice for allied staff everywhere, no matter how labelled – professional, general, support staff, or other titles.  Formed just on 50 years ago, we are a very active, inclusive and highly effective representative for allied staff.   Our success rate is second to none and we set the standard for fairer pay, recognition and employment conditions across the whole of the sector.  Allied staff are the firm foundation on which the entire sector is built, but too often go under recognised and undervalued.  TIASA’s role is to ensure to the very best of our ability the true worth of the thousands of staff whose work is not teaching delivery, but is just as valuable. We work tirelessly to ensure allied staff everywhere are recognised as truly equal partners and contributors to the success on any measure of our country’s tertiary education system, students, and institutions.

We are a youthful, lively, highly respected and innovative union, constantly looking forward whilst also safeguarding gains made over the many years of our existence.    Our work includes negotiation of the best possible pay and working conditions, expert advice and representation with any employment issues affecting you, and constructive engagement on your behalf with leaders at all levels including government and other key decision makers.  The vast majority of our sector’s allied staff belong to TIASA, giving us strength and influence.  Every new member joining TIASA adds to that strength and influence.  We warmly welcome you to TIASA, your specialist voice for all aspects of your employment and future in the changing NZ tertiary education sector.

Shelley Weir
National President

MEMBERSHIP
DOESN’T COST
IT PAYS

Union movement releases COVID-19 vaccination policy

Source: CTU -- The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi has today publically released its COVID-19 vaccination policy. CTU President Richard Wagstaff, "We are encouraging employers to do the right thing and support the team of 5 million, including all...

read more

Level 3 Update, Sunday 29th August

Kia ora te whanau We hope that you have had a relaxing weekend under lockdown and that you and your whanau are staying safe and well. As you will be aware,  Auckland and Northland remain on Level 4 at this stage, while the rest of the country is due to move to Level 3...

read more

Union movement supports nurses’ strike

Source: CTU -- The Council of Trade Unions, on behalf of all affliated unions, is supporting the 30,000 members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation who will stop work tomorrow and take industrial action for eight hours to amplify their need for better pay and...

read more