Matariki (Pleides), the bright whetū (star) cluster seen in the winter sky is a tohu (signal) of the Māori New Year.  Some iwi observe the rise of the lone whetū Puanga or Puaka (Rigel) as the beginning of New Year celebrations.  It is about our connection to the environment, harvesting kai and planning for the future crops.    Traditionally kai was cooked and the rising steam would be an offering  to the whetū o Matariki.  Each iwi have their own stories and celebrate at different times.

 Matariki is about caring for the taiao (environment), remembering those who have passed away, celebrating with whānau and friends and planning for the future.                                                                                                                                                                          

Create a celebration at your Playcentre                                                                                                              

Find out what events or festivals  your town or city are holding.                                                                       

Check out the Playcentre Aotearoa website for resources: Matariki |Playcentre


Puanga/Puaka (Rigel) rises around the Oturu moon in June; Due June 24th 2021. 

Matariki (Pleiades) rises around the Tanaroa phase of July; Due July 2 – 4th 2021. 


Kua piri ngā mea katoa I te whenua I te mātao, me te tangata.                                                                                    

All things on earch come together due to the cold, like wise man.


The new Centre Advisors for Central North Island region were welcomed with a beautiful pōwhiri to Nukuhau Pā in Central Taupo by hau kainga and Kimihia Kohanga reo. A full day’s learning followed about supporting Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi Centre facing staff.

PICTURED: Nukuhau Pā hau kainga including Kimihia Kohangareo welcome Playcentre Aotearoa Staff.


Sacha Harbott Te Ao Māori Field Worker recently attended the Manaakitanga- Community Engagement Hui on Saturday the 22nd of May at Araiteuru Marae, in Dunedin on behalf of Playcentre Aotearoa. It was a beautiful celebration of cultures, diversity and coming together as a community. The Pōwhiri truely captured the idea of inclusiveness as there were elements from many cultures. West African drumming, speakers from Sri Lanka, Spain and Ghana. The day was based around paying homage to Papatūānuku – Earth mother, Rūaumoko-  atua of volcanoes, Mahuika – atua from whom Māui obtained fire. There were fire performances, music, dance, a huge hākari or feast for everyone and fire activities run by the Otago Museum. This type of hui is held four times a year at Araiteuru and is an event not to miss! We hope to have a large Playcentre turnout at the next hui!