Matariki Kāinga Hokia

05 July 2023

Waikato teammate, Karl Ngaika shares his insight into Matariki - Māori new year to help us celebrate the occasion.

This year’s theme for Matariki is Matariki Kāinga Hokia – Matariki calls you home.

The intention for Matariki 2023 is to encourage everyone to return to their whānau and their people, wherever and whoever that might be.

I was recently employed as a Project Manager within the Waikato, Tainui regional office.

When I reflect upon the last 3 months, I see a clear connection to Hiwa-i-te-rangi the star that invokes hope, aspirations, and planning.

Within the context of my new role, I presented with new ideas, aspirations of new learning and courage to achieve positive outcomes.

Like the star Matariki, my new team from the Waikato, Tainui office have come together and embraced my presence, with manaakitanga (support) and aroha (warmth) creating a connection to me as a person and in the context of my mahi (work).

This year’s theme is underpinned with important environmental messages. The various stars in Matariki invite you to return to where you are from and reconnect with the mountains, rivers, ocean, and land. It reminds us of our responsibility to the places we call home, in this case Aotearoa, New Zealand.

We may not operate on our home soil, but it is without a doubt that my new work whānau of ‘Natural Habitats’ treat the whenua (land) they work on as if it was.

We take responsibility of the place we call home (Aotearoa, New Zealand) and will forever operate as Kaitiaki (guardians) on this land.

Matariki is an abbreviation of ‘Nga Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea’ (The eyes of the God of wind)


Pictured above: Waikato Project Manager, Karl Ngaika

The Matariki cluster consists of the following stars:

Wiapuna-ā-rangi (W)
Means the water that pools in the sky and is connected to the rains and other atmospheric conditions. She watches the sky, rains, snows, sleets which nourishes the Earth and contributes to the water cycles.


Ururangi (T)
Means winds of the sky or the four winds (North, East, South, West). He is connected to atmospheric conditions, winds, and the sky. The are we breathe, the skies we observe and the weather we experience.


Tupu-ā-rangi (T)
Represents cultivation from above: Food and growth above the ground, our forests, trees, and berries. A strong connection to birds and insects. It stands for the renewal of our nature and new planting and growth


Tupu-ā-nuku (W)
Represents cultivation from the earth: the growing and nurturing of food that can be harvested from the earth and all edible plants, plants, trees, healthy soils


Waitī (W)
Associates with all freshwater bodies and the food sources that are sustained by those waters. Our Creeks, rivers, lakes, springs and wetlands and all living things within the freshwater.  


Waitā (T)
Associates with the oceans, and food gathering from the sea. This star is also significant for its influences over tides and floodwaters.


Hiwa-i-te-rangi (W)
Represents our aspirations for a prosperous season ahead. It is also known as the wishing star. Where you cast all your dreams and hopes for the year


Pohutukawa (W)
Is the star of remembrance, remembering those who have passed. Our tupuna (ancestors), our whānau (family), our friends. She encourages us to reflect on the past and to be thankful for those who have contributed to our lives. Reflecting on what we have lost can guide us into the future.


Matariki (W)
Matariki the mother of the clusters, she signifies reflection and our connection to the environment, the gathering of people. Matariki also connects to the health and wellbeing of people

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