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Theme for Matariki 2024 announced - Matariki Heri Kai

Theme for Matariki 2024 announced - Matariki Heri Kai

  • 10 Jun 2024
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(Picture caption: Matariki will be celebrated on Friday, 28 June 2024, centred around the theme, Matariki Heri Kai – the feast of Matariki.)

Matariki 2024 will be celebrated on Friday, 28 June 2024, marking a special moment in the calendar as communities come together to honour this culturally significant event.

This day, designated as a public holiday in Aotearoa New Zealand, invites people from all walks of life to engage in a rich tapestry of traditions, festivities, and reflections that embody the spirit of Matariki.

It serves as the poignant finale of the Matariki celebrations, encapsulating the essence of Māori culture and emphasizing the themes of renewal and personal growth.

It becomes a communal canvas upon which communities paint expressions of gratitude, remembrance, and aspirations for the future.

The theme for Matariki 2024 has been announced by Chief Advisor Mātauranga Matariki, Professor Rangi Mātāmua as Matariki Heri Kai - The feast of Matariki.

Matariki Heri Kai comes from the Māori proverb, Matariki whetū heri kai, meaning Matariki, the bringer of food.

Professor Mātāmua says Matariki Heri Kai is a proverb that speaks to the association between the appearance of Matariki and the bounty of the impending season.

"The different stars in the Matariki cluster have an association to the various domains from where we source our food, in particular: gardens (Tupuānuku), forests (Tupuārangi), fresh water (Waitī) and ocean (Waitā).

“This connection encourages us to consider our role in protecting and caring for these ecosystems.”

Building on last year’s theme, Matariki kāinga hokia, we encourage people to view Matariki as a time to journey home, spend time with whānau and friends, and enjoy feasting on fresh, locally sourced produce, the Professor adds.

Tumu Whakarae Secretary for Culture and Heritage Leauanae Laulu Mac Leauanae says Matariki is all about bringing people together, and this year’s theme will help guide celebrations across the country.

"Matariki is for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and a wonderful time to connect come together to reflect, celebrate and share kai," Laulu says.

"Research from last year proves that Matariki is inclusive and for everyone to take part in.

“More than two thirds (68 percent) of New Zealanders think Matariki brings people and communities together.

"This year we are celebrating our food producers, our food suppliers, our wonderful culinary culture and the environments our food comes from.

"Whether the food is from our farms, our oceans or our gardens, I encourage you to experience Matariki on 28 June with kai.

“Reach out to your community, your whānau, and your friends to share kai, however you wish to come together," Laulu says.

Visit the Matariki website for events at Matariki and more information.