Te Rongopai and Matariki

by | 23 Jun 2022 | 0 comments

Te Rongopai and Matariki

by | 23 Jun 2022 | 0 comments

Tēnā koutou – Greetings to you all

With the first ever National Matariki Public Holiday just around the corner we want to share a short digital narrative around Matariki and to share a unique Christian perspective on what Matariki is all about.

Lorinda Pereira (Ngā Puhi) is based in Te Tai Tokerau, in the far North. She is married to John, and they have nine beautiful tamariki. They run a charitable Trust called Te Ahu Whenua Navigations – teaching families, hapū and community groups on how to life off the land. Lorinda is also a prominent national Māori Christian speaker, teacher, and prophetic voice. She has a powerful testimony.

Wilberforce Foundation made the 4-minute video, entitled Te Rongopai and Matariki,  to be easily shareable in church services and in staff meetings. It covers the following questions and topics:

  • What is Matariki?
  • When is Matariki?
  • What is the Christian narrative about Matariki?
  • And what can people do during Matariki?

Some key kupu/Māori words used in the video:

Hauhake – Harvest
Whenua – Land
Whānau – Family
Hāngi – Earth oven/traditional way of cooking food
Kai – Food
Mātauranga – Knowledge
Hapū – Sub-Tribe
Poke – A generous offering/tithe
Hapori – Community
Pātaka – Storehouse

Puanga, Matariki and Names of Stars

The sighting of Matariki marks the beginning of the Māori New Year. The celebrations and stories differ from iwi to iwi, from region to region. Some iwi (particularly in the North) see Puanga as the heralding star, others see Matariki. Puanga is known as the star – Rigel. Matariki is known as – Pleiades.

Key Scripture verses

“He who made the Pleiades (Matariki) and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land – the Lord is his name.”
Amos 5:8

“He counts the stars and calls them all by name”
Psalm 147:4

“And God said, Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.”
Genesis 1:14

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Psalms 19:1

Lorinda’s Kōrero (final segment):

“I’d encourage people to encounter the supernatural essence of Christ. The supernatural imprint of Te Kaihanga i runga i te whenua, ki te rangi (The Creator of the earth and the heavens). Matariki literally means ‘Te Mata-Ariki’ – to come face to face with the Lord, a time of deep encounters with the Lord, and say where am I at lord?, and to ask the lord, where are we heading?”

– Lorinda Pereira.

Small Group Questions:

After sharing the video, these are potential questions that could be asked in relation to the video.

  1. If Matariki is a season to reset and reflect on that year that was, what would you say are some of your key highlights or achievements? From June 2021 to June 2022?
  2. If Matariki is also a time to strategic plan and prepare for the future, what are a few things you could do in the coming months to enable you and your whānau to thrive?
  3. If Matariki is a season to encounter the Lord, what could you do to better position yourself to come face to face with God?
  4. Matariki is a time of celebration – how are you and your whānau going to celebrate Matariki?


Download the Matariki Fact Sheet

Jade Hohaia (Raukawa/Waikato/Ngāpuhi/Ngāi Tahu) Te Pou Whakarae
Māori Strategic Partnerships & Programmes

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