Celebrating Puanga in South Taranaki

Celebrating Puanga in South Taranaki

Friday, June 01, 2018

Maatai ki te rangi, teeraa ko Puanga, ko te tohu mo te tau hou.

As one gazes to the heavens, it is Puanga signaling the New Year.

Council has been working closely with the community to create a programme of free public events to help you celebrate the Maaori New Year in our district.

Whether stargazing, speaking/learning Te Reo, gardening or interactive music shows sounds like you – there are events for everyone to enjoy.

“It’s a great opportunity for our community to embrace our culture and heritage – a time of waananga, to honour ancestors and plant hope for the future,” says South Taranaki District Council community development advisor Ella Borrows.

“We have compiled a calendar of events for across the district and we encourage you to try something new, to take the opportunity to develop your understanding of Puanga and to have fun.”

Some of the events are;

  • Puanga Kai Rau Festival at Parihaka (Friday 8 June – Sunday 10 June)
  • Starlab Planetarium (Tuesday 12 June)
  • Puanga Kai Rau – Gardening under the Guidance of the Stars (Friday 15 June)
  • See the Stars (Saturday 16 June)
  • Thank you to South Taranaki Volunteers (Tuesday 19 June)
  • Cuppa Kōrero (Thursday 21 June)
  • Power to the Pūoro (Thursday 21 and Friday 22 June)

When Matariki (stars) appear low in the eastern sky, people celebrate the Maaori New Year. In Taranaki, we look for Puanga which is the bright star that can be seen above the three stars in Orion’s belt.

The beginning of Puanga can be seen in the last few days of May every year and the new year is marked at the sighting of the next new moon which occurs during June.

Click here to see the full programme, pick up a calendar of events at your local LibraryPlus or keep an eye out on the South Taranaki District Council Facebook page.