Matariki 2020 at Te Papa – remember and share with us

Matariki celebrations at Te Papa will begin by coming together as a community to commemorate and honour those loved ones who were lost over the past year, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monday 13 – Monday 20 July 2020

Often called the Māori New Year, Matariki is celebrated when the star cluster, known as Matariki and Pleiades, rises in the sky during winter. Traditionally, this is a time to gather with whānau to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future.

At dawn on Monday 13 July, Te Papa will hold a livestreamed karakia, He Hokinga Mahara, led by the Iwi in residence Rongowhakaata, and Mana Whenua iwi. This will be an important time for those who were unable to gather to farewell whānau through tangi and funerals during Aotearoa New Zealand’s lockdown. The karakia will be broadcast on Te Papa’s social media platforms to enable those around the country to tune in.

Te Papa Kaihautū Dr. Arapata Hakiwai says Matariki is a time to look to our pakeke (elders) for wisdom, guidance, and aroha, particularly with overcoming adversity in light of current circumstances.

“This year Matariki will give New Zealanders the opportunity to reflect on this unique time in history, and to acknowledge what the nation has overcome together over the past year,” he says.

“Te Papa has marked Matariki for many years and we are proud to continue to hold this role in educating the community and celebrating this important event in the Maramataka (lunar calendar). We acknowledge the guidance and leadership of our Iwi in residence, Rongowhakaata and Mana Whenua iwi in shaping our programme.”

The events programme for Matariki begins with Oho Mata Ariki, a verbatim style theatre piece, developed by Rongowhakaata iwi and performed in front of their whare, Te Hau ki Tūranga. This theatre piece is derived from collections of oral history about the restoration of the renowned meeting house, Te Hau ki Tūranga, and will be delivered by a single actor portraying differing views in a creative way. Oho Mata Ariki will be livestreamed online at 7pm on Tuesday 14 July.

Te Papa invites Aotearoa New Zealand to collect their own oral histories and to share them via the dedicated hashtag #MauMatariki which collates them on a dedicated webpage on the Te Papa website.

Te Papa will hold two evening kōrero and waiata sessions: Mau Tūmārō: Stories of Perseverance, reflecting on past activism and resistance in Aotearoa and the Pacific. The first event, at 5.30pm on Thursday 16 July, focuses on Parihaka and the Polynesian Panthers, and the second session, at 7pm on Friday 17 July, will centre on Bastion Point and the Mau movement from Samoa. The audience will hear histories of these movements of resistance and reflect on how they could shape activism going forward. The public are welcome to attend these kōrero on Rongomaraeroa on Level 4, or watch them live on the Te Papa website and social media platforms.

The Matariki programme at Te Papa also includes a weekend celebrating Māori arts. Toi Tuku Iho involves an eclectic mix of Mana Whenua, Rongowhakaata and local artists showcasing their skills and artworks around Signs of a Nation, Te Hau ki Tūranga and Rongomaraeroa on Level 4.

Visitors are invited to meet the artists, learn about their work and observe them in action.

The artists will include weavers, tā moko artists, taonga pūoro practitioners, storytellers, and more. Toi Tuku Iho runs from 11am to 3pm on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July.

The ever popular Taikura Kapa Haka returns this year in a digital format. Te Papa is celebrating haka and waiata of our beautiful kaumātua with a video montage which will premiere on Facebook at 7pm on Saturday 18 July. The montage is presented by senior Māori performing artists from different kapa haka across Aotearoa New Zealand, with each group choosing a favourite waiata from previous Taikura Kapa Haka performances.


Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Te Puru o Tāmaki Taikura, Taikura Kapa Haka, 2018. Te Papa

Notes to editors

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Event listings

He Hokinga Mahara

Date: Monday 13 July, 7.00am

Location: Livestreamed on Te Papa’s Facebook, YouTube and website

Oho Mata Ariki

Date: Tuesday 14 July, 7.00pm

Location: Livestreamed on Te Papa’s Facebook, YouTube and website

Mau Tūmārō: Stories of Perseverance

Date: Thursday 16, 5.30pm and Friday 17 July, 7.00pm

Location: Rongomaraeroa and livestreamed on Te Papa’s Facebook, YouTube and website

A celebration of Taikura Kapa Haka

Date: Saturday 18 July, 7.00pm

Location: Livestreamed on Te Papa’s Facebook, YouTube and website

Toi Tuku Iho: Celebrating Māori Arts

Date: Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July, 11.00am – 3.00pm

Location: Throughout Level 4

Matariki menu at Te Papa Café

Date: 13-20 July

Location: Te Papa Café

Website offerings

Rongowhakaata kai

Parekura Tureia shares recipes and kōrero through a video showing the importance of kai at this time of year in Manutūke.

Learning resources

Three resources each dedicated to Collecting oral histories, Matariki whakataukī, and Matariki Waiata.

Media contact

Clare Callaghan
021 541 343

Ellie Campbell
029 601 0120