14 Jun 2010

National events held in celebration of Matariki

12:35 pm on 14 June 2010

Monday marks the beginning of Matariki, the Maori New Year, with national events being held during this month.

Despite the occasion growing in recognition, experts in Maori astronomy say the contemporary event now has no connection to its traditional meaning.

Maori navigator and expert in Matariki, Hekenukumai Puhipi, says he's glad more people are taking an interest, although he says the meaning has changed.

Mr Puhipi says the occasion has become a mid-winter celebration, whereas traditionally lives depended on reading Matariki stars, and whether a season was favourable for planting, fishing and hunting.