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A time to celebrate new beginnings – Governor-General

Issue date: 
Tuesday, 22 June 2010

In addition, the Governor-General will host a reception to celebrate Matariki at Government House in Auckland this Saturday evening.

Media wishing to attend the event, must contact Rebekah Clement, Public Affairs Advisor, on 021 243 7958 by 5pm on 25 June.

Matariki Message

Greetings, Kia Ora, Kia Orana, Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Taloha Ni.

Matariki is a special time for all New Zealanders to share. It is a time to come together in celebration of this country’s unique Māori heritage.

For Māori, Matariki, the first rising of the Pleiades in the night sky, has traditionally had many meanings.  From a practical perspective, it marked the correct time to begin planting agricultural crops for the forthcoming year.  But it was also seen as a time to remember those who had died and to celebrate new life.

Reflecting the ongoing renaissance and strength of Māori culture, Matariki has been given renewed vigour in modern times.   Linked to the winter solstice, the time of the longest night and the shortest day, Matariki is a time for all New Zealanders to celebrate new beginnings. 

In doing so, I hope we will all take the opportunity to join with our neighbours, friends and family to enjoy this special festival that is unique to Aotearoa.

It is also an opportunity to recognise New Zealand’s cultural and ethnic diversity. As with the celebration of Chinese New Year, Diwali, Hanukkah, Eid, Easter and Christmas, marking Matariki allows all New Zealanders to gain a better understanding of, and respect for, Māori tradition and culture.

Matariki whetu ki te Rangi
Tāngata ora ki te Whenua

Pleiades stars in the Sky
People well-being on Earth

As Governor-General of New Zealand I wish everyone a happy and bountiful Matariki.

No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora, kia kaha, tēnā koutou katoa.

Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO
Governor-General of New Zealand

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 22 June 2010

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