Kia ora whānau and friends!
As the winter nights grow longer, we come together to celebrate Manawatia mai a Mataariki, a time when we honor Mataariki, the Maori New Year, and remember our loved ones who have passed on.  Mataariki, also known as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters, holds great cultural and spiritual significance for the Maori people of Aotearoa New Zealand. It is a time to gather together, reflect on the past, and set intentions for the future.

During this special occasion, the stars of Mataariki rise above the horizon, signifying the start of a new year. This celestial event is a reminder of the importance of whakapapa (genealogy) and the connections we share with our ancestors, our lands, and each other.  During this sacred occasion, we not only welcome the rising stars of Mataariki but also take a moment to reflect on the memories and legacies of those who have journeyed to Te Āo Wairua within the past year. We pay tribute to our all whānau who have left their physical forms but continue to live on in our hearts and minds.

In this spirit, we gather as a community to share karakia prayers, pūrakau stories, waiata songs, offering our manaaki support to those who are grieving. We create a sacred space where we can express our emotions, find solace in one another, and celebrate the lives of our cherished whānau members.
As we come together to acknowledge and send off our loved ones, let us also remember the importance of whanaungatanga (kinship) and kotahitanga (unity). We support one another, providing strength and comfort during this time of remembrance.

May the stars of Mataariki guide our whānau on their spiritual journey and remind us all of the eternal bond we share. Let us honor our departed loved ones by living our lives with purpose, embracing the values they cherished and the lessons they taught us.  To all those who have experienced loss in the past year, we extend our  deepest condolences and send our aroha love and support. May your hearts find healing, and may the memories of your loved ones give you strength and inspiration.

As we celebrate Manawatia mai a Mataariki let us cherish the present moment, honor our past, and embrace the future with hope and unity. Together, we create a sense of belonging and carry on the traditions and values that make us who we are.

Noho ora mai i runga i te rangimarie me te aroha.
(Stay well in peace and love.)
#ManawatiaMai #Mataariki #MaoriNewYear #CulturalCelebration #HonoringOurWhānau