We made Matariki magic!
In May 2020, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the government were considering more public holidays as a way to encourage domestic tourism.
We decided to launch a petition calling for Matariki to be one of those holidays. Matariki is the Māori new year and is based on the lunar calendar. It is a time to gather with friends and whānau to remember those who have passed, to reflect on the year that has been, and to celebrate new beginnings. A Matariki public holiday would foster understanding and celebration of Māori knowledge and wisdom and invite us to slow down our busy lives and share kai and memories with the people we love.
Between May and August 2020, we:
Grew and delivered a 35,000-strong petition in support of a Matariki public holiday to Labour MP Paul Eagle
Hosted a free and informative kōrero with Stacey Morrison, Professor Rangi Mātāmua and Qiane Matata-Sipu on Matariki and what it could look like if it were a public holiday
Crowdfunded, commissioned and published independent polling that showed the majority of New Zealanders agree Matariki should be a public holiday
Generated support for the kaupapa through social media, reaching over 80,000 people
In September, the Labour Party announced they will make Matariki a public holiday in 2022 - joining the Greens who confirmed their support in July and the Māori Party who have been advocates for a Matariki Day since 2009.
This incredible victory would not have been possible without the hard work of many people over many years. We’d like to give special thanks to Professor Rangi Mātāmua, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Luisa Knight, Peter Heretini, Qiane Matata-Sipu, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, Carmen Parahi, Cleve Cameron, Nicole Hunt, Lewis Holden and Brittney Deguara. These folks helped our campaign in ways big and small and we are extraordinarily grateful.
Here are some resources to further your Matariki learning journey:
Living By The Stars - Matariki Web Series (A series of short videos)
Māori astronomy by Dr Pauline Harris (30min lecture)
A Matariki story (3min video)
Revitalising Māori astronomy (25min documentary)
Taringa - Ep 150 - Special Feature - Matariki 2020 - Revitalisation and Hautapu at home (1 hour podcast)