• About the event

  • When
  • Friday June 28, 2024

  • Time
  • Hautapu Ceremony
    4:30 am - 6:45 am
    Whānau Fun Day
    9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Matariki at Te Puia

Hautapu Ceremony 5:00am - 7.00am

Price: $5 per Adult (NZ residents), FREE for children/teenagers up to 16 years old.

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Whānau Day Events 9am - 3pm

Price: $5 per Adult (NZ residents), FREE for children/teenagers up to 16 years old.

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Buy Whanau Card Promo

Matariki events

Join us to celebrate the rising of the Matariki star cluster and the start of the Māori New Year.

Matariki Hautapu Ceremony
5:00am – 7.00am

Our Matariki Hautapu Ceremony led by NZMACI Pou Tāhū Te Waata Cribb and Te Rāngai Kawa – Te Tokotoru a Manawakotokoto, will showcase a deep respect for ancestral practices that acknowledge the past, present, and future through three key parts of the dawn ceremony.

The first part, Te Tirohanga, looks to the stars for forecasts. Based on these observations, tohunga make predictions about the upcoming year.

The second part, Taki Mōteatea, remembers loved ones who have passed away since the last appearance of Matariki. By calling out the names of those who have passed in the presence of the star cluster, Māori believe when Matariki rises again, those spirits become stars in the sky.

The third part, Te Whāngai i ngā whetū, means ‘feeding the stars’. Kai (food) representing each of the four different stars associated with food is gathered and cooked in umu/hāngī, then the steam is released into the sky as an offering that replenishes the stars.

The act of gathering, sharing kai, singing waiata and telling stories fosters a sense of community and collective identity. It provides an opportunity for individuals to come together, reconnect with their environment, and find solace in the company of others.

In Māori history, after a formal Hautapu ceremony everyone would gather to feast, play games, plan and prepare for the year ahead.

Hautapu Ceremony draft programme:

5:00am – Gather in Whakaruruhau and then head out to Pikirangi Village around the ahi (fire).

5:15am – Stargazing.

5:30am – Kawa Hautapu.

  • Kawa whakaaraara: Sounding of putatara to signal sighting of Matariki.
  • Kawa ki a Pōhutukawa: Karakia to call on the star Pōhutukawa.
  • Whakahua i ngā Mate: Names of those who have passed will be mentioned.
  • Karanga Poroporoaki: Farewell to departing loved ones.
  • Waiata Tangi
  • Umu Kohukohu Whetū – Unearthing of the umu (earth oven).
  • Kawa ki a Matariki – a karakia recitation to the stars of Matariki.
  • Kawa Unuhia (closing)

6:40am – Whakangahau

Mihimihi: opportunity to speak

Waiata-a-ringa: time for waiata

Wish each other Mānawatia a Matariki – Happy New Year.

7:00am – Finish


Whānau Fun Day 
9.00am – 3.00pm

New for 2024: Te Puia’s Whānau Fun Day on Rotowhio Marae atea fwill include:

  • Scenic train rides through Te Whakarewarewa Valley to see Pōhutu Geyser in action.
  • Delicious kai available in Pātaka Kai and Hiakai Cafe, as well as market food stalls available with food relating to ngā whetū (stars of Matariki).
  • Get involved in Pā activities such as Tītī tōrea, rhythmic poi and haka lessons plus hula hoop competitions.
  • Expand your knowledge with enlightening Matariki wānanga (seminars) with NZ Māori Arts & Crafts Institute Pou Tāhū Te Waata Cribb.
  • See pōhiri and cultural performances.
  • Explore the Matariki taonga market with contemporary Māori artists.
  • See NZ Māori Arts & Crafts Institute weaving, wood carving, stone and bone carving.
  • The kids can have fun on the bouncy castle.
  • Kiri tuhi or moko face painting.

Bring your whānau and friends along for a day of celebration and discovery at Te Puia | NZMACI.


Whānau card – Matariki deal 2 years price of 1.

Make the most of our Matariki deal with 2 years for the price of 1 till 28 June. Sign up here and come on-site to Te Puia to get your card and activate it before Matariki. Those who sign up to the Whānau Card between now and 28 June will also go in the draw to win a kete made on Matariki by a NZ Māori Arts & Crafts Institute weaver.

Rotorua residents – $39 per year
New Zealand residents – $89 per year




60 Years of the NZ Māori Arts & Crafts Institute Act

NZMACI first intake 1967

Sixty years ago, the 1963 NZ Māori Arts & Crafts Institute Act was passed by Parliament, making it an important time to reflect on its legacy and what lies ahead for the future.

The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute (NZMACI) at Te Puia in Rotorua is home to the schools of Te Wānanga Whakairo Rākau (National Wood Carving School), Te Takapū o Rotowhio (National Stone and Bone Carving School) and Te Rito o Rotowhio (the National Weaving School). New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute general manager Eraia Kiel says it is a huge achievement for te iwi Māori that NZMACI has delivered on the Act’s responsibilities to protect, preserve and promote Māori culture.