The Greens are celebrating today as Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill passes its third reading in Parliament, and want to see more done to embed this significant cultural period into our education system.
“Matariki will be our first public holiday that recognises Te Ao Māori. It is a time for us to honour those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki, to celebrate the present and to plan for the new season ahead,” says Teanau Tuiono, Green Party spokesperson for education.
“If we prioritise and embed Matariki into the education system, we will enhance the wellbeing of tamariki and young people, strengthen connections to Taiao and to Mātauranga Māori, and protect the natural environment for years to come.
“We can do that by embedding ecological sustainability into our schools. This needs to be supported by professional development for teachers along with teaching and learning resources.
“Matariki is also about Mātauranga Māori, and a reminder that our tīpuna used the stars to navigate ocean voyages, planted and harvested crops based on lunar cycles, and even knew when fish were spawning or traveling based upon the phases of the moon.
“Remembering that we share this planet with other living beings and that we all need to listen to the environment, from our mountains to the forests, from our rivers and out to the ocean; the environment is all connected.
“Mātauranga Māori sits at the heart of many regional ecological calendar systems which have guided hapū from season to season over generations. These regional differences are a strength and reflect how some iwi acknowledge Pūanga or other environmental indicators on the whenua.”