A Matariki campaign designed to bring people together using te reo Māori as well as the ancestral languages of all New Zealanders has already engaged with thousands of New Zealanders.
“Matariki is a profound, ancient tradition that connects Māori New Zealanders back to our ancestors. We wanted all New Zealanders to be able to connect back to their ancestors and learn some te reo Māori at the same time. So, we translated and recorded our special proverb, or Kaikōhau into the many languages of the people of Aotearoa: from Irish to Samoan, Greek to Chinese, Fijian to Spanish to NZ Sign,” said Māori Language Commissioner, Professor Rawinia Higgins.
“Whether your ancestors have lived here for millennia or whether you are one of our newest New Zealanders: just as te reo Māori is our national language, Matariki is now our national tradition.”
When the Matariki star cluster rises at Matariki it is traditionally a time for people to gather, share kai and reflect on the past while preparing for the future. The commission has created some fun, easy ways individuals, workplaces, schools, families and communities can take part:
Hosting a #Kaitahi – a shared meal. Plan a Matariki Kaitahi; make a foodbank donation or plan to eat out and support our hospitality industry.
Learning a #Kaikōhau – an expression of hope. Learn and recite a Kaikōhau.
“Matariki is known as the gatherer of people: Matariki Hunga Nui. We hope it will continue to help bring New Zealanders together, in the same way that te reo Māori did last year when more than 1 million Kiwis gathered to celebrate te reo for our Māori Language Moment,” said Chief Executive, Ngahiwi Apanui.
“It’s been 20-years since our organisation joined others calling for the revitalisation of Matariki into a modern, national event. We want to help ensure it is a tradition all New Zealanders feel a part of.”
The month-long Matariki campaign is being hosted on www.reomaori.co.nz and after a week, thousands of people and organisations have taken part.