Greens’ Māori Caucus Te Mātāwaka call for Matariki Ahunga Nui to be expanded in school curriculum

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party are calling for an expansion of the current school curriculum on Matariki, so that a deeper understanding of how it relates to managing and harvesting food is explored. This push comes at the start of the Matariki season, the final year before it is set to become a public holiday on 24 June 2022.

“The Green Party welcomed the Government’s announcement about Matariki becoming a public holiday on 24 June next year, but we want to go further, faster to enrich the understanding of Māori culture, tradition and knowledge in this country, particularly when it comes to Matariki, which is a time for renewal and reflection for Māori”, says Green Party spokesperson on Education Teanau Tuiono.

“Matariki has been a part of our whakapapa and taught to us by our tīpuna and used as a guide to help us listen to the Taiao, from our maunga to the ngahere, from our awa and out to the moana; the environment is all connected. Today marks the beginning of Matariki and we are calling for ecological sustainability to be embedded in the curriculum. Matariki is an opportunity for us all to reflect on how we all connect and are a part of the environment and we can start that kōrero with our tamariki at all our schools.

“The rising of Matariki or Puanga was an environmental indicator for our tīpuna and how they would plan and manage their maara kai. Each star in the Matariki cluster represents when the best time is to fish, dive or collect food. They also represent when it is the best time to plant seeds, or harvest crops. The relationship our tīpuna had to the whenua and to kai laid the foundations of tino rangatiratanga, which have been handed down to us. It is important that the stories, and teaching of Matariki acknowledges the depths of Mātauranga Māori.

“The Green Party are calling for more support for whānau, kura and communities to strengthen their relationship to whenua, to kai, to indigenous food sovereignty. We support whānau, hapū and Māori communities to join together to; grow, farm, compost, bake, cook, make and eat kai. We want to facilitate the implementation of Matariki Ahunga Nui – Matariki provider of plentiful food – into our education curriculum.

“A kaupapa such as this can only work through partnering with schools to roll out and teach our communities the value of Matariki and her effect over our Taiao. Matariki must become more than just a public holiday”.

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