Matariki 2022

Hikaia ngā ahi o Matariki

Hikaia ngā ahi o Te Kahu tōpuni o Tuperiri

Light the ceremonial fires of Matariki, Light the ceremonial fires of our lands, of Te Kahu Tōpuni o Tuperiri.

Matariki is a cluster of nine stars rising in the Southern Skies during winter which for most, signals the beginning of te tau hou Māori, or, the Māori New Year. It’s a time to remember, reflect and wānanga for the upcoming year. To acknowledge Matariki we have some awesome kaupapa for the whole whānau to enjoy, so get familiar. We would love to see you there.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are pleased to take on the mantle as iwi manaaki for the 2022 Matariki Festival, in partnership with Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau. Watch out for the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei provided whakataukī and hero image to support the festival and the many celebrations acknowledging the rise of Matariki and the beginning of te tau hou Māori.



Tue 21st June, 5:30am – 7am | Takaparawhau | Public Event | Free to attend

Embracing tradition, we are hosting an Ōrākei first Umu Kohukohu Whetū. Umu kohukohu Whetū is a traditional oven and offering to the stars, and what sets it apart from a regular hāngī is the food that goes into the oven and the intention. Join us on Takaparawhau in the early hours of the morning to observe Matariki and enjoy the centuries-old tradition of our tupuna with us.

Location: Takaparawhau, Kupe Street, Ōrākei

Everyone is to be gathered at 5.30am for the commencement of the Umu Kohukohu Whetū. 


Fri 24th June – Sat 16 July, 6pm-9pm | Te Komititanga, Britomart CPO building | Public Event | Free to attend

Pakiata Matariki is a large scale projected light show that will illuminate the entire Chief Post Office building in downtown Auckland, spanning 55 metres wide and 32 metres high.

Learn the story of how the separation of Ranginui (Sky Father) and Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) angered Tāwhirimātea, God of winds. In his despair, he tore out his eyes, crushed them and cast them into the upper realms, where they became the stars in the Matariki cluster. Matariki is an abbreviation of “Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea”.

This bespoke lightshow is a collaborative work created by Hana Maihi (Nga Oho, Te Taou, Te Uringutu, Ngati Whatua, Tainui waka, Ngati Paoa, Te Kawerau a Maki, Ngai Te Rangi),  Poi Ngawati (Ngati Hine, Tainui waka) and Ataahua Papa (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Ngāti Mahuta)

Pakiata Matariki in Te Komititanga will run frequently from 6pm to 9pm daily from 24 June until 16 July. Shows run every 15 minutes.


Sun 26 June, 10am–1pm | Pourewa Reserve | Public Event | Free to attend

Come over to Pourewa and get stuck in to the mahi at our annual planting day at Pourewa Reserve. A great day out for the whole whānau. Bring along gumboots, your own spade &  dress for the weather conditions. Lunch is provided . Note that there is a small hikoi to the planting spot (700 metres). 

Location: Pourewa, Kepa Road, opposite Ōrākei Community Centre

Please arrive just before 10am for briefing


Sat 25 June, 10am–4pm | Takaparawhau | Public Event | Free to attend

Traditionally manu aute and manu tukutuku (kites) were used to send messages to the heavens and between hapū. Manu Aute Kite Day honours and celebrates the universal tradition of kite flying across Tāmaki Makaurau. Watch the spectacle of kites of all shapes and sizes filling the skies, symbolically connecting heaven and earth. There are also plenty of opportunities for kite flyers of all ages to make and fly kites, sending their own personal messages and whakaaro out into the world.


Fri 24 June, 8am–12pm | Ōrākei Marae | Public Event | Free to attend

Learn the history and intricacies of weaving from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei expert weavers. Turn the learning into action by weaving your very own special taonga.

Hikaia ngā ahi o Matariki
Hikaia ngā ahi o Te Kahu Tōpuni o Tuperiri
- A Matariki Narrative to lead our celebrations -

Ko te ahi tērā he mea tiki e Māui i tana tupuna i a Māhuika. Ka  māmingatia a Māhuika e Māui tata pau te ahi. Ka riri a Māhuika ka pangaa e ia tana maikuku mutunga ki te whenua kia toro ai, hei mea patu i a Māui. Ka whakamanu a Māui, kāhore i mau. Ko te mōrehu o te ahi ka mau ki roto ki ētahi o ngā rākau o te ngahere. Ka tīkina atu aua rākau nā e ngā uri hei hika i te ahi. 

He mea nui te ahi. Ko te ahi hei tao i te kai. Ko te ahi hei whakamahana i te tangata. Ko te ahi hei rama i te pō. Ko te ahi hei āwhina i te tangata i āna mahi o ia rā, o ia rā. Ka kitea te paoa o ngā ahi o ngā pā kāinga i te awatea, ka kitea te mura o ngā ahi o ngā pā kāinga i te pō, ka mōhiotia he tangata kei reira e noho ana. 

Ko te ahi kā tēnei. E kā ana te whenua, e kā ana te tangata. He tohu ora. Ko tēnei mea te ahikāroa, ko tō noho mau roa ki ō whenua. Ko tō whakatupu kai ki ō whenua. Ko tō tao kai ki ō whenua. Ko tō whakatū whare ki ō whenua. Ko tō whakatupu tamariki, whakatupu mokopuna ki ō whenua. Ko tō tanu tūpāpaku ki ō whenua. 

Ko te ahikāroa o Ngāti Whātua ki runga o Tāmaki kei te ita, kei te pūmau. Kāhore anō kia weto mai anō i te wā i te raupatu a Tuperiri ā-mohoa nei, kei te haere tonu, ā, ka haere tonu.  

Māui obtained fire from his grandmother Mahuika. Through his trickery, fire was almost lost to mankind. Enraged, Mahuika hurled her last fiery fingernail towards the earth, at her grandson. Māui transformed himself into a bird to escape her fury. The last flickering flame smouldered in the forest trees. This is how man came to poses fire. By taking the trees to kindle new flames. 

The power of fire is recognised and sacred. Fire is associated with cooking food, warming homes and lighting our way at night. Ahi is used to help in everyday life activities. During the day, smouldering smoke rises from our villages. And at night, the amber glow of campfire is a sure signal of life within the village. This is ahi kā – the fires of occupation. The land is alight with life and people. A sign of well-being. 

Ahikāroa refers to the long burning fires of occupation. An enduring relationship with the land across many centuries. Where people cultivate gardens, cook food, and build homes. Where people raise their children and grandchildren on the same lands. Where loved ones are ultimately laid to rest. 

Ngāti Whātua have maintained ahikāroa in Tāmaki for more than three centuries. The long burning fires of occupation are alight and steadfast. Since the time of Tuperiri, they have not dimmed and continue to burn bright. 



The ever-talented Majic Paora has recorded this beautiful  waiata in collaboration with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei for the Matariki season. Guitar by Te Whaiao Manga. Lyrics by Joe Pihema. E mihi nui ana ki ēnei tuahangata. Save the waiata now on Spotify or Apple Music & iTunes.


Celebrating Matariki at home this year? We’ve created a special Umu Kohukohu Whetū booklet that has all the information you need to create your very own umu at home. This booklet contains history about the tradition, including karakia to ensure your ceremony is done right. Find the booklet HERE and keep an eye out for physical copies!


Our cultural expert, Te Kureataiaho has broken down what this ancient tradition entails in a 4 minute clip. Learn about what it is, the importance of an Umu Kohukohu Whetū and why we do this during Matariki below.


Vector Lights For Matariki

This year on the Auckland Harbour Bridge we enjoy a story of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and the concept of Ahikāroa. Ahikāroa refers to the long burning fires of occupation. An enduring relationship with the land across many centuries. Ngāti Whātua have maintained ahikāroa in Tāmaki for more than three centuries. This creative lighting display helps to inform the public of the rich history of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. The show runs for 5 minutes and plays every half hour from 6pm until midnight.

Learn more