From early June, before sunrise, look to the north-east horizon. Find the constellation Tautoru ( the Maori name for Orion's belt (sometimes called ‘the pot’). Trace a line northwards from the three stars of Tautoru. Look for a faint sparkle of tiny dots, about the same width as Tautoru is long. This is the Matariki star cluster. Matariki can also be seen during the summer months in this location of the sky after sunset.
I t is believed that the brighter and clearer the stars seemed, the warmer the growing season would be, ensuring a good harvest.
Matariki is the star that signifies reflection, hope, our connection to the environment, and the gathering of people. Matariki is also connected to the health and wellbeing of people.
Many iwi speak of the Matariki stars as a mother and her daughters.
The mother is Matariki, and is surrounded by her daughters. These are:
Tupu-ā-nuku star associated with everything that grows within the soil to be harvested or gathered for food
Tupu-ā-rangi or Atlas – one of the stars in Te Kāhui o Matariki, the Pleiades star cluster
Waipuna-a-rangi star is associated with the rain
Waitī star is associated with all fresh water bodies and the food sources that are sustained by those waters
Waitā star is associated with the ocean, and food sources within it.
Ururangi star is associated with the winds
Pohutukawa is associated with those who have passed on
And finally, Hiwa i te rangi is associated with the attainment of goals
Golden Sand and Driftwood are great fans of the night sky, and especially the very kiwi Matariki. The decks and beach at Cable Bay is a great place to view these stars from.
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