Each year the star cluster Matariki disappears from our skies in May. In 2020 it returns between 13 and 20 July.

This marks the start of the Māori New Year, a time to celebrate and come together with whānau, friends and communities. It’s when we maumahara (remember) the people who came before us and when we share knowledge, traditions and skills through wānanga (learning). It is a time to have fun and celebrate with a hākari (feast) and look forward to the year ahead.

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū has joined with Canterbury Museum, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, the International Antarctic Centre and South Canterbury Museum to bring you a variety of activities to complete. Follow the links, gather your whānau and friends and have some fun celebrating Matariki together.


Kia ora teachers. We along with several other educational organisiations have made the resources on this site available to help you with online learning. Where possible we have used information from the Canterbury area. Please acknowledge the source where possible.

Feel free to use the links for your classes and to let other teachers know about these resources. The team at Heritage Education are also available to talk to your students via the meeting platform that your school uses - to book a meeting please just email us  to arrange a time and discuss your topic.


Watch the South Canterbury porotiti videos below, then try some of these activities that follow.


You can also check out our partner's activities:

Make your own Pātaka

  • Download an activity sheet to Make your own Kite (manu tukutuku or pākau) with the Air Force Museum

Make your own Kite

Make a hanging star

  • Discover how traditional Polynesian navigation to Antarctica relied on the star clusters like Matariki with the Internatiional Antartic Centre activity Antarctic Stardome and Matariki

Antarctic Stardome and MAtariki

Published July 2020