Teaching and learning activities: Matariki Hunga Nui | Matariki as a time of remembrance

Matariki hunga nui
Matariki the gatherer of people

This speaks to how Matariki calls people to gather together, return home, remember loved ones, and celebrate with whānau and friends.


There are many different beliefs about what happens when we die. In te ao Māori, when we die we return to the stars. It is believed that Matariki cares for those that have passed on by carrying their wairua across the night sky. When Matariki rises again those spirits are released to become whetū.  In these activities, ākonga explore how to hold a hautapu to help remember those who have died.

Make sure you are using whakawhanaungatanga with whānau Māori and mana whenua.