Skip to main content
Media release —
Matariki hautapu ceremony
Matariki hautapu ceremony at Rotorua, 14 July 2023. Image Credit: Eruera Walker.

"Matariki Heri Kai - The feast of Matariki is the theme for Matariki 2024," announced Chief Advisor Mātauranga Matariki, Professor Rangi Mātāmua.

Matariki Heri Kai comes from the Māori proverb ‘Matariki whetū heri kai’ meaning ‘Matariki, the bringer of food’.

"Matariki Heri Kai is a proverb that speaks to the association between the appearance of Matariki and the bounty of the impending season," says Professor Rangi Mātāmua.

"The different stars in the Matariki cluster have an association to the various domains from where we source our food, in particular: gardens (Tupuānuku), forests (Tupuārangi), fresh water (Waitī) and ocean (Waitā). This connection encourages us to consider our role in protecting and caring for these ecosystems.

"Building on last year’s theme ‘Matariki kāinga hokia’ we encourage people to view Matariki as a time to journey home, spend time with whānau and friends, and enjoy feasting on fresh, locally sourced produce," says Professor Rangi Mātāmua.

Tumu Whakarae Secretary for Culture and Heritage, Leauanae Laulu Mac Leauanae, says Matariki is all about bringing people together, and this year’s theme will help guide celebrations across the country.

"Matariki is for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and a wonderful time to connect come together to reflect, celebrate and share kai," says Leauanae Laulu Mac Leauanae.

"Research from last year proves that Matariki is inclusive and for everyone to take part in. More than two thirds (68%) of New Zealanders think that Matariki brings people and communities together.

New Zealanders' engagement with Matariki report 2023

"This year we are celebrating our food producers, our food suppliers, our wonderful culinary culture and the environments our food comes from.

"Whether the food is from our farms, our oceans or our gardens, I encourage you to experience Matariki on 28 June with kai. Reach out to your community, your whānau, and your friends to share kai, however you wish to come together," says Leauanae Laulu Mac Leauanae.