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People in beach celebrating matariki with a beach fire

Celebrating Matariki

Matariki is a time for renewal and celebration, a chance to get together with whānau, to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and plan for the year ahead.

To celebrate Matariki in 2023, Bunnings is sharing the experiences and traditions of our team and our community.

Join us in celebrating Matariki with these DIY activities and create your own memories for the holiday weekend here

Matariki is a cluster of stars, the rising of which is celebrated in Aotearoa and around the world. This star cluster is known as Makali’i in Hawaii, Soraya in Iran and Subaru in Japan.

For Māori, the rising of Matariki is a time of reflection, celebration and remembrance.

This year, the theme is ‘Matariki Kāinga Hokia’, which translates to ‘Matariki calls you home’. It can be celebrated by returning to the place you call home and spending time with whānau to reflect on the year that has passed.

‘Matariki Kāinga Hokia’ is also an opportunity to remember our connection to the environment – our mountains, rivers, oceans and land, and remember the responsibility we have to the places we call home.

Bunnings is honoured to have been invited back to Tokomaru Bay by Te Aorere Pewhairangi, his whānau and ngā hapū o te ākau o Tokomaru (Te Whānau a Ruataupare me Te Aotāwarirangi), to join in their wānanga focussed on Matariki and what’s involved in the hautapu ceremony. The event was held in Tokomaru Bay and was also an opportunity to acknowledge the adversity the Tairāwhiti region has faced following Cyclone Gabrielle and historic floods within recent years.

How to hāngī

Hāngī is a traditional Māori method of cooking where food is cooked in the ground. The origins of the hāngī can be found in the umu (earth ovens) of ancient Polynesia. Read our guide to this cooking technique created with support from Hone Hurihanganui, Director of Engaging Well. 

Logs stacked on top of a dirt patch, with smoke coming out of the pile.

Matariki kaleidoscope

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars, also known as the Pleiades. The Matariki star cluster rises in the midwinter night sky, marking the beginning of the Māori New Year. This is a time of reflection. Follow our guide for this kids' D.I.Y. project to help celebrate this meaningful time.

School children assembling Matariki kaleidoscopes with the help of a Bunnings team member

Behind the scenes of a hāngī

Find out more about the making of our 'How to Hāngī' video and why hāngī plays a significant part in the celebrations of Matariki and reconnecting with your whānau. 

People digging a hole.