Matariki this week focuses on Waiti and Waita

During Matariki which runs until July 21, delicious recipes, as well as podcasts, videos and apps can be explored, courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries.

During Matariki which runs from June 21 to July 21, there are many resources available to explore on line including links, recipes and activities.

Every week there is something new to see, and this week’s focus is around Nga Whetu Waiti and Waita, representing the fresh water, the ocean, and the food or kaimoana that inhabit those waters.

Paula Phillips has published her Trout Shepherd’s Pie recipe for those who enjoy trout fishing on the ocean and is demonstrating how to cook salmon filets for those who prefer freshwater, kaimoana, representing the Matariki twins Waiti and Waita.

“Growing up, my Nana and Grandad loved to go fishing for trout,” says Paula. “They would take their boat to Lake Tarawera and fish for the weekends, sometimes I would go with them when I was up in Tauranga on holiday.


"With the trout that she caught, she would take it home and bake it mainly into a trout shepherd pie. These days, I don’t eat fish myself, but I remember staying at Nana and Grandad’s and eating a tiny helping of her trout shepherd’s pie.”

There are podcasts, videos and apps to explore, and a website of the week is featured during Matariki.

The theme for the Matariki 2020 programme is Nga Kura Huna: Sharing important knowledge and prized learnings that would otherwise remain hidden.

 ‘Kia huakina te tatau hei tomonga mā tātou ki ngā kura huna o Matariki’ means ‘Open the door of understanding, that we may all access vital knowledge pertaining to Matariki’.

To help open doors of understanding Tauranga Moana iwi are presenting a new video series ‘Nga marae o Tauranga Moana, to share their intrinsic and unique history, hidden knowledge, motetea –chanted song-poetry, and waiata – song -  pertinent to each area in Tauranga Moana.

Ngati Ranginui are hosting the video series here, with a new video uploaded daily.

The Matariki: Nga Kura Huna online information hub can be found at

There’s Toddler Time, a fun free virtual programme designed for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers featuring waiata, finger and action rhymes, stories and movement.

Join whaea Jess Mill as she teaches new Maori kupu. This coming week the focus is on Waiti and Waita.  Waiti is related to bodies of freshwater and the food within it, whereas waita relates to the ocean and the food within it.

Nga Maunga Tohora (The Whale Mountains)’ - the traditonal story told by Nga Potiki of how the mountains in the area came to be is now a bilingual picture book co-authored by Vincent Olsen-Reeder and Hinemarie Burton, with illustration by Tiare Dickson and Courtney Shepherd. It was launched this week at Tahuwhakatiki Marae in Welcome Bay.


The authors see the book as a first step in what will hopefully be a collection of first readers for local mokopuna.


“We have our own superheroes, our own villains and our own lessons about the world right here in Tauranga, where our feet hit the ground,” says Vincent.


Vincent Olsen-Reeder and Hinemarie Burton


Each year, the winter stars of Matariki signal the arrival of the Māori New Year. Traditionally, the rise of Matariki was a sign to ensure food crops had been harvested and the storehouses were well-stocked for the coming year.


Nowadays, Matariki has become a time of revitalisation and resurgence of te reo Maori and matauranga Maori. Matariki is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate our history and make plans for the future.


In doing so, we acknowledge our traditions, language and culture, which together give us a sense of who we are.


This year the Tauranga City Libraries has brought to us a  four week 'virtual' Matariki programme.


"As we celebrate and learn together we take a look at the Seven stars of Matariki and look at ways to incorporate their meanings in our everyday life," says a Tauranga City Library spokesperson.

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