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Media Release: Taranaki Whānui leads the way by declaring New Zealand’s first plastic free urupā

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary 0 1578

Taranaki Whānui iwi has officially declared Opau Urupā in Makara, Wellington as plastic- free, the first urupā (Māori cemetery) nationally to do so. 

They’re encouraging the community to use sustainable, plastic-free ways to commemorate loved ones instead of using plastic flowers.

Matariki ki Te Māra a Tāne / Matariki at Zealandia

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Matariki has become a popular celebration of Māori culture, for all, across Aotearoa/New Zealand. Matariki is an important celebration to Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne as the sanctuary acknowledges the importance of Te Ao Māori through our commitment to Te Tiriti and our organizational values.

Click here to read more about how we're celebrating Matariki at Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne including events and activities for the whole whānau.

Matariki from a Historical Perspective

Rosemary Cole 0 6658

Historically, te reo Māori was an oral language and Matariki (Māori New Year) was a time when knowledge was shared orally, as in reciting whakapapa (family trees). Matariki was also a time when legends were passed on orally.

One such legend is about Tāne-mahuta – the guardian spirit of the forest and the god of light. He pushed Rangi-nui (Sky Father) and Papa-tū-ā-nuku (Earth Mother) apart, so that he and his brothers had more light and space. One of Tāne-mahuta’s many brothers was Tāwhiri-mātea, the god of wind and storms. Tāwhiri-mātea was angry about his parents being forcibly separated and cried seven tears that became the seven stars of Matariki.

Matariki

Jenny Way 0 5584

Matariki, the start of the Māori New Year, is signalled by the appearance of seven stars low on the north-eastern horizon at dawn. Also known as Pleiades, the stars arrive any time from late May to mid June. This year the stars arrived on 18 June. Different tribes celebrated Matariki at different times. In the 21st century, the New Year starts with the first new moon following the rising of Matariki.

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