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Celebrating Matariki at ICT

Kia ora and Mānawatia a Matariki!

Friday, 24 June 2022 is the first time that Matariki will be designated as a public holiday in New Zealand. It’s an exciting time to be in Aotearoa, making history with the first te ao Māori (Māori worldview) public holiday.

But what is Matariki?

Matariki, which commonly translates to “eyes of the God”, is a traditional Māori holiday to mark the changing of the year.

According to the myths, when Ranginui - the sky father, and Papatuanuku - the Earth mother, were separated, Tawhirimatea - the god of the winds, became so angry he tore out his eyes and threw them to the heavens. Ever since then, every year in June and July, a cluster of stars called Matariki rises to mark the new year. The cluster of stars ranges from 6-9, with Matariki representing both a singular star and the entire cluster. Each star has a specific name, meaning, and lesson that ties into traditional te ao Māori.

 

The star cluster that makes up Matariki has roots across the world in many cultures. In Greek mythology it was known as Pleiades, in Hawaiian beliefs it’s known as Makali’i, while in Japanese it’s referred to as Subaru.

To learn more about Matariki and the meaning behind the star, check out these educational resources:

Matariki at ICT

While ICT may be an international company, our roots are based in Aotearoa and our values include those that are part of New Zealand culture. This includes the te ao Māori value of Kaitiakitanga – or Guardianship – which means that we respect the world around us and actively take responsibility for our impact on the environment.

Matariki is based on people’s connection to the Earth, the sky, and its inhabitants - from the birds in the forest to the eels in the rivers and lakes. It’s a time to reflect on our place in the world, our impact on the people and world around us, and what we would like for our futures.

Taking the time to think about these things and how we can practice kaitiakitanga every day is part of what drives us at ICT and in New Zealand. It guides decisions like sustainable packaging, investing in e-waste initiatives, creating our own sustainable food garden, and creating Protege features that enable people to make more environmentally friendly choices in their everyday lives.

Since Matariki is a new public holiday, we’ve created some new video resources on how to add a new holiday to your holiday groups.

Conclusion

Having designated holidays like Matariki enables us to take time to spend with those that matter, to reflect on the past year and our values, like Kaitiakitanga. We hope you and your whanau have a wonderful Matariki.

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