Destinations

Tourism NZ celebrates first Matariki public holiday with music colab

Tourism New Zealand has marked the first annual Matariki public holiday with a musical collaboration that captures the values of returning home.

Legislation to create the annual public holiday, acknowledging the rise of the Matariki star cluster and marking the Māori New Year, passed in April marking a historic moment for the country as its first national holiday to specifically recognise and celebrate mātauranga Māori.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive René de Monchy said Matariki was been a strong story to tell off-shore in markets that are interested in New Zealand’s unique culture and stunning night skies, and helps to attract visitors who are mindful of culture and place.

Matariki takes place in mid-winter from late May to early July. The dates vary according to tribes and geography.

This year (2022), the first public holiday to celebrate Matariki was on Friday 24 June, marking the reappearance of the constellation.

The three major principles underpinning traditional Matariki celebrations are

  • Remembrance: honouring those who have passed on, since the last rising of Matariki;
  • Celebrating the present: gathering together with family and friends; and
  • Looking to the future: looking forward to the promise of a new year.

To celebrate the event Tourism New Zealand has released a bespoke composition by Jerome Kavanagh – Ngā Taritari o Matariki (the Winds of Matariki).

Kavanagh is a Grammy Award-winning featured solo artist and internationally renowned Māori Taonga Pūoro (traditional indigenous instruments) musician.

Ngā Taritari o Matariki (the Winds of Matariki) composition calls on New Zealanders to gather, reconnect and reflect with whānau and loved ones.

The composition is available now on Spotify.


Image credit: Youtube/100% Pure New Zealand



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