Tēnā koutou katoa,
Mānawatia a Matariki - we welcome Matariki this Pīpiri (June). Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars that show up in the sky at this time of year. This cluster of stars is also known as the Pleiades cluster. When this cluster of stars is visible in the sky, it signals the start of the Māori new year.
Matariki has many meanings in Aotearoa. It is a time for sharing kai (food) with whānau and loved ones, remembering those who have passed on, for celebrating the year that has passed and for looking to the future. There is a lovely whakatauki (Māori proverb) that is very fitting for this special time of year: Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua - I walk backwards in the future with my eyes fixed on the past.
In our hubs this week, ākonga will be learning about Matariki, and working in mixed groups to create Matariki themed items for our school discos on Thursday. Teams will be making whetū (stars) and kites, decorating some of our many glass jars with whetū, and making mobiles. On Thursday evening, we will hold our Matariki-themed discos. Many thanks for our disco organisers, Jack and Belinda, and their group of parent volunteers, for all of the hard work and preparation that has gone into our discos. Thanks also to Kalesha, who has also helped with the organisation. We are all looking forward to being able to gather together for this fun event.
On Friday across Aotearoa it is a special occasion as we observe our first national holiday for Matariki. School will be closed and we hope you all have a wonderful day spent with loved ones, celebrating the year that has passed and looking forward to the promise of the year ahead.
Ngā mihi nui,