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‘Bright, optimistic, and hopeful’ Matariki public holiday launched at Te Papa

Fri 24 Jun 2022

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Caption

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Professor Rangi Matamua take ceremonial kai from the pot at the hautapu ceremony, 24 Jun 2022. Te Papa

Images and video from official launch ceremony – see end of release for captions.

 

Te Papa hosted a globally significant milestone today with the launch of the country’s first public holiday that acknowledges mātauranga Māori | indigenous knowledge.

The rising of the star cluster Matariki | Pleiades in the southern hemisphere midwinter marks the start of the Māori New Year. There are rich traditions and knowledge around the rise of Matariki that are unique to Māori culture and New Zealand’s place in the world.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined tohunga Māori | Māori experts in a pre-dawn hautapu ceremony at Te Papa to launch the first Matariki public holiday.

“It feels incredibly symbolic to me, that stars that have been so integral in navigation by our ancestors, form now a waypoint on our journey as a nation. This waypoint in our journey offers us the chance to come together as families, but also as a nation, under the stars of a bright, optimistic, and hopeful Matariki,” Ms Ardern said.

The hautapu ceremony involves the cooking of kai connected to stars in the Matariki cluster. Steam from the kai is released to feed the stars, and tohunga|experts look to the appearance of the star cluster and share aspirations for the year ahead.

Sir Pou Temara led the hautapu ceremony. “This is a moment that future generations will look upon and say – this is when we came of age," Sir Pou Temara said.

Professor Rangi Matamua, who led the Matariki Advisory Committee that guided the creation of the new public holiday, observed the stars this morning.

“Matariki is something to share as a nation and to forge us together under one identity,” Professor Matamua said.

Matariki is traditionally a time for family and friends to gather, reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future.

Media contact

Kate Camp, Head of Marketing and Communications | Kaiwahakahaere Whakapā
kate.camp@tepapa.govt.nz
029 601 0180 (+64 29 601 0180)

Images and video

Images and video from official launch ceremony.

Photos – all photos credit Te Papa. Not for commercial use.  

  • Rangi Matamua gestures to the stars during the hautapu ceremony, joined by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
  • Professor Rangi Matamua at the hautapu altar.
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Professor Rangi Matamua take ceremonial kai from the pot at the hautapu ceremony.
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Professor Rangi Matamua take ceremonial kai from the pot at the hautapu ceremony (different image).
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Professor Rangi Matamua share a moment at the hautapu ceremony.
  • Mana whenua representatives perform with poi at the conclusion of the hautapu ceremony.
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern looks to the skies, flanked by Ministers Kelvin Davis and Kiritapu Allan.
  • Tohunga from the hautapu ceremony perform a haka at its conclusion, shown from left Dr Anaha Hiini and Paraone Gloyne with Scotty Morrison behind. 
  • Kahu Ropata offers a karakia at the hautapu ceremony.
  • Tohunga Scotty Morrison offers a karakia at the hautapu ceremony.
  • The hautapu altar was set with foliage and hue (gourds) and the kai placed on it in woven kete.
  • Crowds gather on Wellington’s waterfront to watch the hautapu ceremony on the big screen.
  • Sir Pou Temara embraces Rangi Matamua at the conclusion of the hautapu. Professor Matamua is wearing a kakahu | cloak woven with a design of the stars of Matariki.
  • Kura Moeahu of Te Āti Awa offers a karakia on behalf of mana whenua iwi.
  • Kai cooking in the pot ahead of the hautapu ceremony.