Matariki Ahunga Nui
By Mereana Selby, Tumuaki
The constellation of Matariki, the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades, lingers on in our mid-winter skies. For Māori it signals the beginning of a new year, and a time to reflect on the activities of the past year and to remember those we have lost – those who have passed on.
Traditionally it was also a time where plans were made for the year ahead and where space was created to foster new beginnings and growth. Here at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Otaki we are celebrating Matariki with a series of subsidised introductory short courses that aim to introduce students to a range of Māori concepts and knowledge as a platform for further study. These courses are delivered predominantly through our noho based system where students are based either at our main campus here in Ōtaki or at one of our marae-based sites around the country. Time on noho can range from a weekend delivery to a series of four-day deliveries and dates are dependent on where courses are held.
The series of courses we currently have on offer are a fantastic introduction into fundamental aspects of Te Ao Māori (the Māori world). I would encourage anyone who is interested in enhancing their understanding of the Māori culture and language to take up the challenge for Matariki 2013 and enrol in one of our Poupou courses today. Courses currently on offer are:
- Poupou Karanga (Certificate in Karanga)
- Poupou Whaikōrero (Certificate in Whaikōrero)
- Poupou Pakari Tinana (Certificate in Physical Wellbeing)
- Poupou Huia te Reo (Certificate in Te Reo Māori – online course)
- Poupou Toi Whakarākei (Certificate in Design & Art)
- Poupou Whare Tapere (Certificate in Literary Performing Arts)
The appearance of Matariki each year was a time of celebration and reflection amongst our tupuna and today were are enjoying a revival of these values and practices. There are many ways you may choose to observe Matariki in your own special way – attending and supporting local events in your community, making and flying traditional Manu Aute (Māori kites), learning a whakataukī (proverb) or waiata associated with Matariki or just gathering together to share kai, stories and time with loved ones.
Whatever plans and commitments you make for the seasons ahead, I would encourage you all to seek inspiration from our Matariki stories and traditions and acknowledge this as a time to focus on fostering growth and development for yourself, your whānau, your hapū and your iwi.
Nāku i roto i ngā mihi,
For more information about courses on offer at Te Wānanga o Raukawa please contact us on 0800 WANANGA or email firstname.lastname@example.org.