Our Ngāmotu campus was treated to kai and korero about why Taranaki iwi celebrates Puanga. Ākonga had the opportunity to make harakeke stars to create their own Matariki clusters and were invited to our WITT Pou renewal ceremony.
Our Hāwera ākonga were also kept busy making kawa kawa lip balm, enjoying hangi, watching a demonstration of Taonga Pūoro, and they then joined our Ngāmotu ākonga for the WITT Pou renewal ceremony.
The WITT pou renewal is part of our 50 celebrations.
Allie Hemara-Wahanui Kaiarahi - Deputy Chief Executive, said the pou are markers of time, kaupapa and people.
“As we celebrate our 50th anniversary and acknowledge Puanga Matariki we are proud to renew, re-present and celebrate these pou.”
“Through these pou we acknowledge the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future. Matariki is also about celebrating the past, present and the future so it was a perfect time for an unveiling.
Allie also recognised how important Matariki was to WITT and Aotearoa.
“Matariki is the only holiday in Aotearoa that is based on a Māori worldview of the world; all other holidays come from the northern calendar, for example, Christmas and Easter,” she said.
Matariki signals the rise of the Matariki star cluster and the start of the new year for Māori.
“It’s a time when we reflect on the past and present and plan for the future. It’s a time for whanau to come together, so the holiday was deliberately placed on a Friday to create a long weekend.”
“For WITT, celebrating Puanga Matariki and educating our ākonga and kaimahi is important to our identity. It’s unique to Aotearoa and recognises how far we have come as a country regarding our relationship between cultures.”
In Taranaki, Puanga is also celebrated alongside Matariki to mark the beginning of the Māori year.
“By the time Taranaki sees Matariki, the sun has already risen, which is why the Puanga star also marks the beginning of the Māori new year. Puanga is the brother of Matariki and Matariki is the sister” she said.
No plans for the long weekend? Te Waka Kai will be down at the TSB Winter Festival of Lights event, pop down for kai and a look at the lights.