Celebrate Matariki – and win an eReader!

Ko tēnei te wā o Matariki tāpuapua. It is the time of Matariki. Rāpare (Thursday) 18 Pipiri (June) 2015 is the start of the Māori New Year. Join the Christchurch celebrations at the Botanic Gardens on Sunday 21 June, and at Rehua Marae on Saturday 27 June.

Tell us in the comments what Matariki means to you, and then you are in the draw to win a Kobo Glo eReader! You can use your prize to enjoy our collection of eBooks and eMagazines.


Terms and conditions

  • You must be a member of Christchurch City Libraries to be eligible to win an eReader.
  • The competition is not open to staff of Christchurch City Libraries or their immediate families.
  • The competition closes Sunday 5pm 21 June 2015.
  • The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into and prizes are not transferable.
  • Winners will be contacted by Sunday 28 June 2015.
  • If you are a winner, you consent to your name, photograph, entry and/or interview being used for reasonable publicity purposes by Christchurch City Libraries.

Get ready for Matariki – 28 Pipiri (June)

Matariki – the Māori New Year – is on Saturday 28th June. There is a fab range of events in the next few days to celebrate.

Tonight (Wednesday 25 June) at 6.15pm A Tane me Ngā Whetu
Matariki storytimes at Upper Riccarton Library. Bring along your whānau to listen to stories about Matariki, learn a waiata, and have fun. Dress code: PJs and a blanket.

Matariki seminar: The sharing of Rongōa. A session on traditional Māori healing with a focus on Te Taiao (the environment). Presented by Joseph Hullen. Linwood Library at Eastgate, Thursday 26 June at 6pm.

And on Matariki itself – Saturday 28 June – it’s time for the Whanau Fun Day at Rehua Marae. It goes from 10am to 3.30pm. Our librarians will be telling stories at 11am, there will be market and kai stalls all day.

There will also be:

  • Korero/ Talks on Natural Resources and Planting
  • Wahakura – Traditional Sleeping Baskets for Pēpi – 10.15am
  • Native Planting – 1.00pm
  • Rongoa Garden – 1.40pm
  • Kapa Haka: Ngā Manu a Tane, Heaton Intermediate and Te Kotahitanga

Our libraries are celebrating Matariki with community crafts and displays. Here are some photos from around our ‘branches’.
Kete cabinet at Parklands Library Matariki display at South Library Matariki leaf rubbing at Hornby Library

Story blankets at the marae: Picturing Canterbury

Story blankets at Rehua Marae Matariki story blanket display at Rehua Marae, Christchurch.

Explore our sampler of Waitangi Day photographs from our collection.

Whanau fun at the Rehua Marae

Kia ora. There is a cool event at Rehua Marae this week.

Matariki community evening  Thursday 27 June 2013
Kapahaka performed by Papanui High Rōpū and some great story-telling performances by Christchurch City Libraries staff. You can also check out our new Mobile van which is loaded up with a great range of resources from our Nga Pounamu Maori collections across the network.  Kia ora. Sorry but this event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances..

Whanau fun day Saturday 29 June 2013
This Whānau Day features activities, entertainment, and plenty to see and do.

Rehua Marae is at 79 Springfield Road, St Albans, Christchurch. This page explains its history – it is a wonderful place.

These photos show some pictures from our previous sessions for Matariki.

Matariki at the MaraeCrafts at the Whanau Fun DayStory blanket display at Rehua

Sharing stories at Rehua Marae

Monday 25 June was the first day of our Story blanket Exhibition at Rehua Marae, part of our programme of events this year at Christchurch City Libraries to celebrate Matariki. It was well attended with nearly 100 people from tamariki to kaumātua coming down to visit on the first day. Reactions so far have been wonderful – exclamations of wonder, up-close and personal examinations by little eyes and fingers with oohhs and ahhs, to tears of appreciation. If you haven’t seen it yet you should come down and check it out for yourself.

“What is a storyblanket?” I hear you thinking … well, our storyblankets are visual retellings of six well-known New Zealand stories depicted on a blanket. The way the storyblanket exhibition works is that you can come down to the Marae, look at the blankets which are made up on mattresses in the wharenui and read the stories that have inspired them while you’re here.
Story blanket display at Rehua Story blanket display at Rehua

Story blanket display at Rehua Story blanket display at Rehua

Story blanket display at Rehua Story blanket display at Rehua

The storyblankets themselves have been several months in the making. The whakaaro behind the project was this: traditionally, Matariki was a time for wānanga (learning). With this in mind we decided to explore the idea of wānanga from a library perspective – in a sense libraries are giant storehouses of stories. We thought we could do this by looking at the idea of sharing kōrero or story across generations at Matariki, with a focus on pakiwaitara and pūrākau. The idea of the storyblankets exhibition was to express the essence of a story in a visual format.

We approached six authors with our idea, who graciously granted us permission to use their works as a source of inspiration for these taonga. The books we chose were:

Library teams from across the city then swung into action, retelling the story they had chosen on their blanket. Some teams used this as an opportunity to work alongside customers and local groups in their communities to collaborate on the artworks. Once completed they were then gathered up and brought out to Rehua. You can see some photos on our Flickr site.

Conceptually, in Te Ao Māori (if you can think outside the square a little), the wharenui is similar in some ways to a library. The whare represents the body of an ancestor, a shelter and gathering place for their descendants and is a living repository of kōrero. The whakairo (carvings), tukutuku (woven lattice workpanels) kōwhaiwhai and their placement inside the whare record and tell the stories, history and whakapapa (genealogy) of the local hapū/people who belong to a particular marae- connecting the past and the present. For us, having the opportunity to share this exhibition with the community in partnership with Rehua Marae is wonderful –  in a sense we are taking the library to the library – and it’s awesome being out there in the community. Ka rawe!

The Storyblankets will be at Rehua for the rest of this week between 10am -4pm. If you can’t make it weekdays there is a whānau fun day this Saturday, again from 10am-4pm with a lot of free fun activities planned, including weaving workshops, waiata session, storytime, readings by local authors Ben Brown and Gavin Bishop (of their books that feature in the exhibition), Random Acts of Music are coming down, and there will also be stalls and kapahaka performances.

How are you celebrating Matariki this year? We’d love to hear what others are doing. If you’re in Christchurch, think about coming down to Rehua and celebrate Matariki 2012 by sharing some stories with us? We’d love to see you!

Matariki at the Marae tonight (Thursday) and more Matariki fun to come

Download the Matariki events brochure 670 Kb PDF

The Mobile Library bus will be at Ngā Hau e Whā National Marae tonight (Thursday 23 June) for this year’s Matariki community evenings.  This is a free event and includes Kapa Haka performances, guest speakers, a parade of cloaks shown by Ranui Ngarimu, New Zealand short film screenings and a free cup of hot pumpkin soup. Children will be entertained with hands-on craft activities such as star weaving, star gazing and Kākahu Moemoea, a cloak of dreams and aspirations.

Come down and see the mobile library – dressed for the occasion and highlighting Māori resources during Matariki.

Bring your library card and borrow on the night. Not a member? Join up free of charge!

There are still more Matariki events to come – including some short films at South and Shirley libraries.

Matariki celebrates our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatuanuku. Throughout Matariki we learn about those who came before us: our land, our history, our family.

The importance of Matariki, as explained by Rakiihia Tau

Rik TauMatariki is the Aotearoa new year according to the lunar calendar.

In this audio file Upoko of Ngai Tuahuriri Rakiihia Tau  explains the importance of Matariki in terms of what it meant for the life of southern Māori, and puts it in the context of the year-long cycle of mahinga kai — gathering food and the necessities of life.

Matariki hunga nui – Matariki has many admirers

Christchurch City Libraries is one of several organisations taking part in the Matariki at the Marae celebrations at Ngā Hau e Whā National Marae on Pages Road.

There’s also a raft of events happening in libraries, all of which are family-friendly and totally free.

It’s part of the city-wide celebrations of Matariki, the traditional Māori New Year, supported by Christchurch City Council.

There are further open nights next Tuesday and Thursday, and the cultural performances, star-gazing, a light show and hot soup all add up to a fabulous chance to visit a national marae and enjoy a mid-winter celebration. See you there!

The time for ukulele is upon us

There's a uke to suit everyone
There’s a uke to suit everyone

If cupcakes are the hot trend in culinary circles then surely the ukulele is its musical equivalent. A diminutive version of the standard item and somehow cuter and more gleeful.  If you can listen to the upbeat tinkle of a jauntily strummed ukulele and not feel happier, or possibly even slightly warmer at the prospect of warm island summers then you may well be made of stone or something similarly cold and unfeeling.

Christchurch City Council’s Matariki programme which has been ongoing throughout June saw me attending a two day ukulele workshop at Ngā Hau e Wha Marae last week.  Led by local legend Pos Mavaega of Pacific Underground we newbies (several of whom had bought their ukes the day before) miraculously found some chords and strums and managed to cobble them together into some songs.

We did so well that somehow Pos has managed to talk our small band of uke-wannabes into performing during Pacific Underground’s set at Matariki at the Marae on Thursday night.  There will be other exciting things on offer at the marae as well including star-gazing with telescopes (I saw Saturn last night!), star-weaving, guest speakers and possibly the best pumpkin soup ever (do take them up on having a squirt of sour cream in it, it’s really good).

If you really can’t bear to leave the cosy warmth of your living room on Thursday to see our triumphant ukelele debut you can still get yourself uked-up.  Perhaps you prefer to go to a performance where the musicians have been playing their instruments for more than a week?  If so you might be interested to know that the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra will be performing as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival in August (but be quick, one of three performances is already sold out!).  And of course the library has a ton of ukulele inspiration to get you strumming –

Don’t miss Matariki at the marae

A unique event on the Christchurch calendar, Matariki at the marae is a celebration akin to an open home at New Year’s.

For the next two weeks, Ngā Hau e Wha invites all-comers to experience a national marae, hear guest speakers, learn about aspects of Mā0ri culture and the stars above and have some soup in celebration of the beginning of a new year on the Māori calendar.

I spoke with Christchurch City Libraries kaitakawaenga Aurelia Arona about the programme for schools and the opportunities the public have to participate and experience Māori culture.

The open community evenings on Tuesday and Thursday nights include star-gazing and cultural performances. Guest speakers, including Rakiihia Tau, Ranui Ngarimu, Dr. Rawiri Taonui, Iaean Cranwell and Te Rita Papesch. Stone carving, soap carving, a weaver’s demonstration, weave a star, computer-based whakapapa research and soup are also part of the evening programme .

Nga Hau e Wha is a national Marae – take this opportunity to experience the heritage and the hospitality on offer – it would be rude not to! Learn more about Matariki, and see other Matariki events at Christchurch City Libraries.

The event is supported by Christchurch City Council and Christchurch City Libraries, who deliver Matariki learning programmes and matariki storytimes. Many other government agenices and community organisations make the event possible.