A new moon on Thursday night with the backdrop of the newly-visible Pleiades star cluster signals the start of month-long celebrations to mark the Maori New Year or Matariki.
Public kapa haka or Maori performing arts entertainment, plays, discussions and workshops will be on offer from June 21 to July 21 throughout New Zealand to celebrate.
Traditionally for Maori this was a time to prepare to plant and gather food and meet for discussions to plan for the future.
These days planting and gathering food isn't so much of a priority but Maori still gather at marae throughout the country, Auckland City Council Maori cultural advisor Kaumatua Rereata Makiha says.
"They're starting to do this a lot more now because over the years we've been distracted by the drive of commerce," he told NZ Newswire.
"It's quite hard to get back to the rhythm of the tides that a lot of the old people used to recognise. A lot of those things have been lost and now they're just starting to rediscover that now."Mr Makiha says in recent times iwi had been using this time to discuss ways of encouraging their people to learn Te Reo Maori or the Maori language and to learn customs.
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