Learning to live by the maramataka: Pipiri

Matariki is here! It’s time to look to the stars to see what the year ahead has in store.

Learn more about the maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar, here.

The Māori New Year is marked by the rising of Matariki (Pleiades star). It is a common ‘New Year’ tohu (marker) however we are not limited to this star only. Depending on the coast or area, the tohu (markers) vary. Puanga/Puaka (Rigel in Orion) is the other star used by iwi on the west coast to mark the New Year. Tainui iwi in Manukau, Raglan and Kawhia use two stars: Rehua (Antares) and Puanga. Rehua sets in the west at the exact same time that Puanga rises in the east. Other northern iwi take the first full moon (Rakaunui) after the rise of Puanga as their marker for the New Year. 

This is a great reminder that the New Year’s start date is different everywhere and to be inclusive of other tohu as well as Matariki.

Key dates:

5, 6, 7 and 8 June: Unpredictable/changing weather and energy – Tamatea a ngana, Tamatea a hotu, Tamatea a io and Tamatea kai ariki. Be cautious and prepared especially in this windy cold weather. If you get a chance head to Maraetai on Saturday 8 June to witness the rising of Puanga.

15, 16 and 17 June: Super high energy – Oturu, Rakaunui and Rakau ma tohi. One of my favourite times of the month. The energy and vibrations on these days are heightened. This is a great time to plan and get in extra physical activity.

20, 21 and 22 June: Low energy – Korekore te whiawhia, Korekore te rawea and Korekore piri ki ngā tangaro. Relax, take it easy! You might also notice you are not as hungry on these days. The maramataka is different for every person and it’s about tuning your own energy and vibrations into the maramataka. 

23, 24 and 25 June: Productive Energy – Tangaroa a mua, Tangaroa a roto and Tangaroa kiokio. Try get to the moana/beach. I have been testing these days for the last few months to see what I notice about how I feel. On these days I feel absolutely weightless when running along the estuaries around Manukau harbour. What do you notice?

9, 19 and 26 June: Reciprocity days – Huna, Oike and Otane. These are special days to give back to the environment and honour Papatūānuku, Tāne Mahuta and the many other gods associated with the maramataka. We give thanks for all that is provided for us. Give back days and dates vary from region to region but we use these specific dates in Auckland.

Tip: on a ‘give back’ day, be kind to the environment! Pick up rubbish, be kinder to animals and be nicer to people. The reason we give back is to honour the atua, nature and life.

Learn more about the days of the maramataka and download your own maramataka dial here.

Tohu in Pipiri

Tohu o te rangi (signs in the sky)

We welcome the Matariki cluster, Rehua and Puanga to begin the Māori New Year. Matariki is due to rise around 22 June. It always rises and sets on a tangaroa day in Haratua – Pipiri. Puanga/Puaka (Rigel in Orion) is the star used by iwi on the west coast to mark the New Year and is due to rise 8 June. Other northern iwi take the first full moon (Rakaunui) after the rise of Puanga as their marker for the New Year. This means their New Year’s date is around 17 June not the 8 June.

Tohu o te whenua (signs on land)

Winter is already here and Game of Thrones is finished. Prepare for the colder winds and rainy days, and be sure to keep warm whānau.

Tip: If the heater is broken and you don’t mind using a bit of DIY, look up ‘bubble wrap window insulation’. It really works!

Tohu o te moana (signs at sea)

In some areas far north, the Pakirikiri (blue cod) and Maomao, also known as blue Maomao (Scorpis violaceus) continue to migrate.

Please note: This is intended as a guide to help you learn about key dates in the maramataka and read the tohu (signs). Tohu will change from area to area and therefore while the dates above might be accurate for Auckland Manukau Harbour area, dates may vary slightly for those in other rohe.


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