Matariki in Ōtautahi

* STORIES ON THE GO, Te Ao Māori, Christchurch City Libraries
Dyslexia Font
The Commuting Book

Jul 09   ●  min read   ● 

We went to the Christchurch City Libraries online catalogue and found this great list created by their knowledgeable staff. Check the links at the bottom to find out where to borrow these books. Enjoy!

Te Kātao o Matariki – The Water Stars of Matariki

“This year Christchurch City Libraries continue to celebrate Te Iwa o Matariki – The Nine Stars of Matariki. Here we’ve featured some new books as well as some of our old favourites. This year’s kaupapa is Te Kātao o Matariki | The Water stars of Matariki. These three whetū are: Waitī, who is associated with food and creatures drawn from fresh water sources; Waitā, who is associated with food and creatures drawn from the moana; and Waipuna-ā-Rangi, who is associated with the rain.”

Puanga, Star of the Māori New Year by Sam T. Rerekura

Puanga is the star Rigel in Orion. Most of the tribes of the Māori people in Aotearoa observed Puanga to mark the beginning of the Māori New Year. In Māori mythology he was believed to be the older brother of Matariki. His cosmic rising between May and June in the early morning sky signalled the beginning of winter. Which is why Māori knew him as the foremost winter star. A practical reason why Māori marked the New Year at this particular time of the year was because Puanga’s heliacal rising coincided with the end of the harvest where the first fruits were eaten during a three-day festival of lights.
The religious reason why Māori began the New Year in May-June was because it was the only time in the year when all the most significant stars important in Māori mythology rose at the same time at dawn. The kumara had been lifted, pigeons were being stored away in calabash containers and shark had been hung out to dry ready for the winter months. The New Year was a sacred time for Māori when offerings were made to Puanga and laid out by the tohunga priesthood on taahu altar shrines as a gesture of thanksgiving.


Living by the Moon by Wiremu Tāwhai


WINNER, Ngā Kupu Ora Awards, Te Kōrero Pono – Non-fiction Award, 2014
WINNER, Edify Award for Best Educational Book, PANZ Book Design Awards, 2014
WINNER, Best Resource in te reo Māori, CLNZ Educational Publishing Awards, 2014

Living by the Moon sets out and discusses the maramataka or lunar month and the way the days and nights were understood according to Te Whānau-ā-Apanui tribal knowledge. Te Whānau-ā-Apanui ancestors were dependent on the environment, and this led them to closely study the changes and cycles in nature so they could ensure their survival in their tribal area. Knowledge of aspects such as the sea conditions and best planting and harvesting times at each day of the month were carefully observed and remembered, and community activities were arranged according to the phases of the moon.


There is a bright new star in the winter sky—Puanga, cousin to the Matariki sisters. Each year, she appears to the people of Aotearoa, a special sign for those unable to see Matariki, that winter and the Maori New Year are coming. A new addition to Scholastic’s popular Matariki range, this time introducing readers to the Puanga star, which is celebrated for Maori New Year and the coming of winter in place of Matariki along parts of the West Coast of New Zealand.

Hiakai by Monique Fiso

RHNZ Godwit

A breathtaking account of Maori food – its traditions, ingredients and tikanga – from our brightest culinary star. Monique Fiso is a modern-day food warrior, taking Maori cuisine to the world. After years overseas in Michelin-star restaurants, Monique returned to Aotearoa to begin Hiakai, an innovative pop-up venture that’s now a revered, award-winning restaurant in Wellington.

Monique has also gone on to feature on Netflix’s ‘The Final Table’, alongside 19 other international chefs, with Hiakai being lauded by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Forbes and TIME magazine, which named Hiakai in 2019 as one of the ‘100 Greatest Places’ in the world.

This book is just as unforgettable: ranging between history, tradition and tikanga, as well as Monique’s personal journey of self-discovery, it tells the story of kai Maori, provides foraging and usage notes, an illustrated ingredient directory, and over 30 breathtaking recipes that give this ancient knowledge new life. Hiakai offers up food to behold, to savour, to celebrate.

Tuna and Hiriwa by Ripeka Takotowai Goddard


This picture book tells the story of how the tuna got its silver belly but forever had to live in the dark depths of the river.Tuna is in awe of a nymph, Hiriwa, that glows and dances along the river bank in the moonlight. Night after night, Tuna meets Hiriwa and basks in the moonlight, hoping that he will also glow, but he remains the same. Disappointed, he hatches a plan to take Hiriwa’s light. But the moon sees what Tuna does, and in her anger, she prevents Tuna from swimming in her moonlight ever again.

The Twin Stars of Matariki by Miriama Kamo

Illustrated by Zak Waipara


Te Rerehua and Sam know that nothing in nature is identical; not the eels, not the stones on the beach … not even the twin stars of Matariki, Waiti and Waita: one looks after fresh water and lakes, the other salt water – the ocean. When they notice Waiti is looking dim one night, Grandma and Poua enlist the children’s help with planting around the edges of the lake to help keep it healthy. But at night, those sneaky Patupaiarehe come and pull up the plants! Grandma devises a plan to scare those naughty fairies away …


Auhors: #SamRerekura #WiremuTāwhai #KirstyWadsworth #MoniqueFiso #LucyCorry #TracyBerno #ManjaWachsmuth #Amber-JayneBain #Ripeka Takotowai Goddard #MiriamaKamo #Zak Waipara #

Publishers: #Huia #PenguinRandomHouse #Scholastic #fishHookPublications