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Future generations will say this is the day Aotearoa-New Zealand came of age


Staff member
Dec 16, 2021
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The first Matariki national holiday is a hugely important moment in time for Aotearoa-New Zealands unity, says Waikato University te reo, tikanga and philosophy Professor Sir Pou Temara.
In a speech at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington on Friday, Sir Pou spoke of how special moments connect people.

These moments in time are the essence of our nationhood and our identity ... today we have chosen to thread the principles and values of Matariki into who we are as a people.

He said this moment was for reaffirming our kinship bonds with one another.

MARK TAYLOR/Waikato Times
Was Matariki a coming of age moment for New Zealand? Crowds look skyward on Friday morning.

* Matariki Public Holiday Bill has first reading in Parliament
* Tainui star lore shines through Matariki

It is a moment to look to the future and dream about a brighter tomorrow for all of us who call this country home.

While Matarikis stars all had different aspects, they had risen on Friday together as one cluster, as one family, Temara said.

It was important to celebrate our uniqueness but let us also come together to rise as one people, as one nation, as one cluster to collectively darn another historical stitch into the fabric of our national identity.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at Te Papa to mark Matariki, a historic moment that 'unites us under the stars of Aotearoa'

All New Zealanders descended from people who used the night sky for direction and stars had guided us on how to live together.

Matariki speaks to the most noble attributes of who we are.

Future generations would say of this day that it was a moment where we came of age.

At the same event, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Matariki was a time to reflect, to think of those we have lost, and to prepare and share a sense of hope and optimism for the future.

Many of us did not grow up with, or learn the traditions of Matariki. But we now have that chance. A chance to see our children learn more about this period, a chance to learn from them, and a chance to create our own Matariki moments, Ardern said.

Waikato Universitys Professor Sir Pou Temara has spoken passionately at Te Papa Tongarewa about how the new Matariki holiday is an important moment in time for national unity.
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