News — 30 June, 2023 Matariki celebrations across Aotearoa will be significantly enhanced with 119 successful applicants for the over $3 million Matariki Ahunga Nui fund. 2023 Matariki Ahunga Nui funding recipients.The fund is designed to support iwi Māori to celebrate, regenerate and practice local mātauranga Matariki.Funding has been granted to both large-scale events and also smaller ones that meet the needs of local communities recognising the breadth of the applications. These include everything from local whānau, hapū and community hautapu ceremonies, marae-based wānanga that revive mātauranga Matariki, supporting the development of educational activities and online tools for schools, facilitating Matariki centric kōrero and maramatanga by and for communities, development of deep mātauranga which reflect on the place of Matariki in our lives and in our environment, as well as wider celebrations across Aotearoa New Zealand.This is the second year of the fund with 321 applicants seeking a total of more than $13m. Applications were assessed against how they best aligned with the principles and kaupapa of Matariki, and the reach of the events and resources across whānau, hapū and iwi.“We were moved by the thoughtful nature and overall high-quality of applications which demonstrated the deep aroha for Matariki. Unfortunately, the fund was heavily oversubscribed making the final funding decisions incredibly difficult,” says Leauanae Laulu Mac Leauanae Tumu Whakare, Chief Executive of Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.“The Government is aware of the demand to celebrate Matariki and in Budget 2023, an increase in funding has been made available for Matariki in 2024, and in subsequent years. We acknowledge the mahi of all applicants and their enthusiasm to celebrate and regenerate Matariki".