Skip to page content
Home / About us » News » Archives

Waikato Museum Event Shines Light on Matariki

31 July 2017

Matariki Fraser Gunn jpeg

Image: Matariki, Fraser Gunn.

The mysteries of Matariki and Maaori astronomy will be illuminated in a thought-provoking public talk by Dr Rangi Matamua at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato on Thursday, 3 August.

Dr Matamua is an associate professor at the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Maaori and Indigenous Studies, specialising in Maaori language, culture and history, and author of the recently published book Matariki: The Star of the Year.

Along with his colleagues Dr Hemi Whaanga and Dr Ann Hardy, he collaborated with Waikato Museum to curate Te Whaanau Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies, an exhibition which examines the traditional Maaori societal view of the night sky and how it is being revitalised in the modern world.

A manuscript initiated by Dr Matamua’s great-great-grandfather, Maaori astronomy tohunga Te Kōkau Himiona Te Pikikotuku, in 1898, complements his academic research, and Matariki: The Star of the Year weaves these strands of knowledge together.

The talk at Waikato Museum from 5.30pm – 6.30pm on 3 August will reveal the origins of how Matariki was observed so that it can be better understood and celebrated in our modern society.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says it is a privilege to have partnered with Dr Matamua on Te Whaanau Maarama and have him share his expertise at his upcoming talk.

“There a very few people in Aotearoa who could hold a candle to Dr Matamua’s knowledge of Maaori astronomy, which makes this talk a must-do event,” she says.

Dr Matamua’s ‘Matariki: The Star of the Year talk’ is from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Thursday 3 August 2017 at Waikato Museum. Entry is free but bookings are recommended as seats are limited. Go to for details. The Matariki: The Star of the Year book is for sale at Waikato Museum for $35.

Te Whaanau Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies runs until 13 July 2018. Entry is free. Waikato Museum is open daily 10am – 5pm.



Dan Silverton
Waikato Museum Partnerships and Communications Manager
07 838 6956
021 056 9810