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Wake Up With The Stars – Israel Dagg To Host Matariki Livestream

Do something new this Matariki – All Blacks star Israel Dagg is inviting New Zealand and the world to join him to ‘see in the New Year’ with a Matariki livestream next week.

Dagg will join astronomy and cultural experts for the unique event on the final morning of Matariki, broadcasting live for the first time from the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve on Tuesday 21 July.

The livestream hosted on 100% Pure New Zealand’s Facebook page will observe the final star in the Matariki cluster, Hiwa-i-te-rangi.

Dr Rangi Mātāmua, a Māori Astronomy and Matariki academic who will co-host the livestream, says Hiwa-i-te-rangi “holds our dreams, wishes and hopes for a prosperous year”.

“Matariki is significant to New Zealand because it begins the Māori New Year” says Dr Mātāmua.

“Traditionally this was the biggest and most important celebration of the Māori year and it was honoured with ceremony, feasting and celebrations.”

Under the magic of the Matariki stars and the Aoraki Mackenzie sky, viewers will be taken on a journey to understand the story, myths and legends of Matariki and the significance of this moment in the year.

While New Zealanders’ awareness of Matariki is on the rise, a survey in 2017 found that while almost 70 per cent of the population knew what it was, few understood its significance to Māori and how to celebrate it.

In preparation for the livestream, Dagg spent time this week with celestial navigator Piripi Smith at the Ātea a Rangi – or celestial compass – in Hawke’s Bay, to learn more about the importance of the stars to Aotearoa and Māori.

“We are talking about cycles with Matariki – it’s the end of one cycle, the end of one year. We look back at what happened during that year, and we look forward, to the next cycle of the sun,” says Smith.

“It gives us a chance for our community to get together, to participate in karakia, to acknowledge those who have passed on in the last year, and finally to have kai together” says Smith.

“It’s great for New Zealanders and others abroad to understand that as Māori, we have tribal differences in many aspects of life – the times when we celebrate Matariki, Puanga or the other signs of the Māori New Year are no different.”

“Understanding and acknowledging the different kōrero from various regions or iwi is important,” says Smith.

“It also means that the ‘Matariki’ window is wider than just a couple days, people have a few weeks to celebrate the Māori new year and have the opportunity to get around different regions to see the various customs,” says Smith.

In addition to the livestream, New Zealanders can do something new and see the stars for themselves by visiting one of the world-class stargazing spots across the country.

These include the Dark Sky Project at Mt John Observatory and Tekapo Springs in Takapō / Lake Tekapo, the Ātea a Rangi in Hawke’s Bay, as well as experiences with Horizon Tours in Dunedin and Good Heavens on Great Barrier Island.

As for Smith, he will be taking his family to see the stars in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve. “We are going to hire a campervan as I’ve never been to the West Coast or Takapō / Lake Tekapo.”

To join the special event, follow @purenewzealand and RSVP on Facebook to stay updated.

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Livestream information:

  • Date: 21 July 2020 NZT
  • Time: Approx. 5:30am
  • Where: 100% Pure New Zealand’s Facebook page
  • Location of live stream: Takapō/Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
  • RSVP: Here

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