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Source: Massey University

Pōhutukawa cards will be available for staff and students

Matariki has risen this week heralding the start of the Māori New Year.  At Massey, the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori will be hosting celebrations on campuses next week to coincide with the start of Semester 2. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori, Professor Meihana Durie says the arrival of Matariki this year, brings with it an important opportunity to reflect on the many challenges that we have encountered in recent months but also the new opportunities. “There is a whakataukī, or ancestral proverb that speaks to the notion of irreversible change, ‘e kore ā muri e hokia’.  

“Because of COVID-19, our world has irreversibly changed this year and this proverb reminds us that things can never quite be as they once were. In that regard, the Black Lives Matter movement has held up a mirror to society and ignited the flame for greater equality of civil rights.”  

Closer to home in Aotearoa and at Massey, Professor Durie sees a bright future ahead, “the rise of Matariki brings with it new opportunities, and as much as this is a time to reflect on the year behind us and to recall the memories of those we have lost, we ought to continue to embrace positive change and to be open to new beginnings. 

“Te Pūrehuroa, where the Matariki cluster resides, connects us via the cosmos with all of our students across Aotearoa and the world.  It is our constant reminder that our collective potential is unlimited and that knowledge brings with it infinite possibilities – kia kaha tātou.”

Iwi around the country acknowledge Matariki in different ways with some iwi looking to 7 whetū (stars) while others recognise 9.  For some iwi, the whetū Pōhutukawa speaks to honouring those who have died and this year, staff and students are being invited to fill out Pōhutukawa cards with the names of their loved ones who have passed . 

These names can be added to a remembrance board and will be acknowledged during a special karakia at the conclusion of each campus Matariki event.  The printed cards are available on Wednesday from the Māori Student Centres on each campus,  from the Office of the DVC Māori or the Manawatū campus library.

In Auckland and Wellington, celebrations will be held at lunchtime on Wednesday 22 July.  The Auckland event will be at Te Whare Taupua, Māori Student Centre, (formerly the Wonder Room) and in Wellington at the Whānau room.  In Manawatū, the celebrations will be held at 11.00am at the Library.  

More information on Matariki can be found here

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