This week marks the start of Matariki celebrations, a unique New
Zealand event that heralds the beginning of the Māori New Year.
Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars also
known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters, in the Taurus
In New Zealand the stars come into view low on the north-eastern
horizon, appearing in the tail of the Milky Way in the last days of
May or in early June, just before dawn.
Unique to New Zealand, Matariki is one of the most significant
celebrations in the Maori calendar and Tourism New Zealand
recognizes the importance of promoting this to the world.
"Matariki's uniqueness is recognized by Tourism New Zealand and
it's something we've been looking at for a few years as to how we
can develop awareness of the festival as a hook for international
visitors," says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin
Later this month, Tourism New Zealand is hosting an
international media familiarisation trip to promote Matariki to
help build the profile of Māori New Year.
Media will be hosted in Waikato's Ngaruawahia with a gourmet
feast and party at Turangawaewae Marae in celebration of this
year's Matariki festivities. Developed by well-known New Zealander
Hinewehi Mohi, the celebration will give the journalists a
first-hand experience of what Matariki is about.
Māori culture is a major element of the New Zealand tourism
industry with approximately 350-400 Maori tourism businesses in New
Over time, Tourism New Zealand hopes to help create and profile
this unique event as a hook for visitors. Matariki gives us the
opportunity to show off our rich Maori culture, our country, our
culture and the stories that link all that together, Kevin Bowler
The official 2010 Matariki festival runs from 14 June to 18
Find out more information on Matariki
For a list of events taking place across New Zealand visit http://matarikievents.co.nz/
on Tourism New Zealand's events page
Find out more
about what TNZ is doing to support Māori tourism