20 August 2020
Matariki is the rising of the stars, which signals the beginning of Te tau hou (Māori New Year). Matariki is a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future. It’s a time to come together with friends, whānau, and the community. It’s about eating, reflecting, having fun, and looking forward to the year ahead.
As a multi-cultural centre, we celebrate inclusion and support the many different cultures within our centre. These are an integral part of our practice, including the unique dual heritage of Aotearoa where we invite whānau to contribute to the life of the centre from anywhere within the world. The values and beliefs surrounding Matariki are very important to us which is why we like to embrace Matariki throughout the month, giving the children, teachers and whānau time to learn and embrace it together.
Every year we like to acknowledge and celebrate the rising of the Matariki stars by dressing up sparkly like the night sky and having a shared hakari (feast) amongst all 3 rooms! Everyone is welcome! We will give thanks for the kai and then enjoy the shared meal, it will either be a traditional hāngi or a home-cooked roast meal of chicken, Kumera, pumpkin, potatoes, stuffing and gravy! Traditionally, Matariki is a time to share kai from the pātaka, the storehouse, harvested from past seasons. It is a time to relax, eat, and enjoy good company. Which is exactly what we do!
We celebrate Matariki each year here at Treetops to observe the traditions, customs and culture of tangata whenua. Throughout the month we will engage in a wide range of experiences from crafts, waiata, dance, story-telling, planting new crops and showing our support and aroha to the community through a Tā koha.
As part of our Matariki celebrations each year we like to encourage a traditional Māori cultural practice of Taa Kooha. It is about giving what we can spare, to those in need. This is to help the homeless and families who can’t afford the basics. We are very grateful for all the donations received by our Treetops whānau.
Naa reira, Teena Kooutou, Teena Kooutou, Teena Raa Taatou Kaatoa!
We wish to express our deepest gratitude to our Treetops whānau for embracing Matariki and the Māori culture, we love this time with the children and look forward to the many more cultural experiences and events throughout the year!