Te Iwa o Matariki | The Nine Stars of Matariki
On Sunday 25 June, we started our 2017 Te Iwa o Matariki | The Nine Stars of Matariki celebration. Every day, we revealed a different star of Matariki, and shared with you its meaning.
As part of our celebration, we also gave away a copy of an awesome new pukapuka (book), Ruru’s Hangi, by Nikki Slade-Robinson! See below for our introductions to each of the whetū (stars).
Day 1 – Waitī
Waitī watches over our freshwater environments. Our awa (rivers), roto (lakes), kūkūwai (wetlands), and waipuna (springs) – to name just a few. As the waters flow, she sees how they support us, provide for us, connect us, and sustain us. Waitī has heard the important stories that our waters have to tell. She encourages us to listen, and to learn from them as well.
Fill in this sentence: Ko _______te awa/roto/moana (______ is my river/lake/sea).
Day 2 – Waitā
Waitā surveys our vast oceans, Te Moana-nui-o-Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) and Te Tai-o-Rehua (the Tasman Sea). The variety of life in these waters is so diverse that he finds he is still discovering different species of marine plants, whāngote (mammals), manu (birds) and ika (fish) – even after all of this time. Biodiversity is essential to our world. Our actions need to support it, and even better still, enhance it. Waitā encourages us to respect our coasts and oceans, and treat their inhabitants like the taonga (treasures) they really are.
What NZ marine species (plant or animal) do you most treasure?
Day 3 – Waipuna-ā-rangi
Waipuna-ā-rangi welcomes the winter sky waters in all their forms – ua (rain) ua nganga (hail) and hukarere (snow) included. She sees how these waters contribute to the healthy cycle of our earth, and also, the effects when they don’t arrive as required. Waipuna-ā-rangi encourages us to reflect about climate change, and what we can do today to lessen the problem.
Tell us about your best wet weather experience.
Day 4 – Tupu-ā-nuku
Tupu-ā-nuku has a special interest in our edible plants. This includes the natives pūhā (sowthistle), kawakawa (pepper tree), kōkihi (NZ spinach), and tī kōuka (cabbage tree). In watching the preparations for their growth and harvest, she has come to understand the importance of healthy soil. Tupu-ā-nuku encourages us to consider more carefully what we are putting into Papatūānuku (the earth), and in what quantities.
What are some more eco-friendly ways to garden?
Day 5 – Tupu-ā-rangi
Tupu-ā-rangi has long looked out for the ngahere (forests), and he is deeply concerned by the collapse he is witnessing. Our native wildlife – manu (birds and bats), mokomoko (lizards), and ngārara (bugs) – are being ravaged by introduced pests and predators. As are our ancient rākau (trees) – like tōtara, pūriri, pōhutukawa and rātā. Tupu-ā-rangi encourages us to take action to help to bring our forests back to life again.
Name an introduced predator/pest that is threatening our forests.
Day 6 – Ururangi
Ururangi is close friends with te whānau puhi (the wind family) – including Hauraro (the north wind), Tonga (the south wind), Hauāuru (the west wind), and Marangai (the east wind). She encourages us to get to know this family well, embrace its strength and prepare for any challenges it creates.
What is a great wind-based activity you would recommend to others?
Day 7 – Pōhutukawa
Pōhutukawa holds tight to our memories of treasured people who have passed on. She encourages us to take time to remember them, and to acknowledge their impact on our lives.
Someone that Forest & Bird remembers fondly this year is Judy Piesse. Her huge, lifelong passion for conservation (along with that of her husband Arn) is truly inspirational. Among many other things, Judy supported national action taken for the Manapouri, Whirinaki and Pureora forests in the 1960s, and she helped establish the Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve, the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, the Upper Coromandel F&B Branch, and the Auckland Minewatch group in the 1970s and 80s.
Who is your NZ conservation hero/heroine?
Day 8 – Hiwa-i-te-rangi
Hiwai-i-te-rangi is a wishing star, who helps us to recognise our hopes, dreams and aspirations for the coming year. She encourages us to hold firm to our goals, and seek out opportunities to see them realised.
What are your aspirations for KCC in the coming year?
Day 9 – Matariki
Matariki loves to gather the people together, and to connect them with our environment. She encourages us to do the same, as often as possible.
Share a photo of you and your friends, whānau or community out connecting with nature together.
Wishing you all a wonderful Matariki
Your KCC Team – Sarah and Rebecca