Matariki Services

Seen sparkling in the winter sky just before dawn, Matariki (the Pleiades) signals the Māori New Year. For Māori, the appearance of Matariki heralds a time of remembrance, joy and peace. A time for communities to come together and celebrate. As of 2022, Matariki became a NZ public holiday. In 2024, Matariki  is on 28 June - this public holiday will shift each year but is likely to always fall between June and July. Read more about Matariki.


2024 Matariki message on behalf of the Moderator, written by Rev Brendon McRae

"...The wisdom of Matariki cannot be ignored. As people of faith, the Treaty, and bearers of the gospel what is our response? A question we ask each year at Flagstaff Community Church as we begin our Matariki preparations is, how might Matariki point to the God we encounter in Jesus Christ who enters both the worlds of Māori and Pākehā? This invites a conversation between scripture, tradition, culture, life and land… and let’s not forget the stars!" Download here the 2024 Matariki message.

2023 Matariki message to the Church from Moderator Right Rev Hamish Galloway

"Matariki opens up so many possibilities for reflection and celebration. In its literal meaning there is the idea of divine encounter. And this divine encounter is linked to harvest time, giving thanks for that which has been, and hopes for that which is to come. The harvest element leads naturally into enjoying together good food, the fruits of the harvest, a feast!..." Download here the 2023 Matariki message.

2022 Matariki message to the Church by Te Aka Puaho Moderator Marina Rakuraku

"Kia Ora Koutou Katoa. Matariki brings to mind the preparing of soil to receive new seeds, it’s also the beginning of the Māori New Year. As it says in Matthew 13:3-9: “Behold a Sower went forth to sow..." Download the pdf message here .

Rev Dr Wayne Te Kaawa - Matariki service for PCANZ Ministers & Worship Leaders, 14 July 2022

Rev Dr Wayne Te Kaawa, Lecturer in Māori Theology at University of Otago/ Te Whare Wānanga o Otākou, invited Presbyterian ministers and worship leaders to a Zoom online Matariki service on Thursday 14 July 2022, 7pm - 8:15pm. There was a PCANZ focus, with Wayne giving people an idea of what a Matariki service could look like. This was an online Presbyterian event (Wayne's second - his first was 7 June) and was Wayne’s offering to his Church. Watch the video from 14 July above, or watch and download from the PCANZ vimeo page here (click the grey 'download' button), or direct download the video here

God within Matariki documentary featuring Flagstaff Community Church

Documentary produced by Shine TV for the celebration of Matariki. What does the Bible say about this time in our Kiwi calendar, and how do we navigate the celebrations and complexities of this season as Christian communities? Theologian Dr Brad Haami and church leaders including Rev Brendon McRae and Sue Mepham of Flagstaff Community Church, Ōtepoti, Dunedin, help us look up and see where our creator God is within the stars of Matariki. Watch it on Shine TV here.

Watch a 2023 Laidlaw College with Bradford Haami video on Christianity and Matariki

The Laidlaw Centre for Church Leadership, with Dr Bradford Haami, have created a video to explain what Matariki is and how we can think about it from a deeply Gospel-centred perspective. Bradford Haami is chair of Te Rūnanga o te Wānanga Amorangi - The Māori Council for Laidlaw College - and a lecturer in biculturalism at Laidlaw College. The video is approx 4 minutes in length.

The Wilberforce Foundation: Te Rongopai & Matariki

This YouTube video and accompanying info sheet from the Wilberforce Foundation, features Lorinda Pereira. Lorinda shares her Hokianga/Ngā Puhi perspective on Te Rongopai and Matariki (Puanga). The video covers:

  • What is Matariki?
  • When is Matariki?
  • What is the Christian narrative about Matariki?
  • What can people do during Matariki?

St Andrew's on the Terrace Wellington Matariki services 2005, 2008

Please note: as these services date from 2005, 2008, some external links may no longer work. 

Flagstaff Community Church Dunedin Matariki service, 2016

Matariki is acknowledged and celebrated differently in each region. We take our advice from Puaka Matariki Festival Komiti which provides the kaupapa unique to Ōtepoti Dunedin. We consult local kaumatua with all our events. We take our inspiration from Matariki, Te Paipera (Holy Scripture) and we have tried to use te reo Māori appropriately. We may have made some errors, if so apologies, aroha mai. Matariki is becoming a favourite season on our yearly calendar.

Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry Matariki resources

Presbyterian Church Schools' Resource Office

See Matariki resources on the Presbyterian Church Schools' Resource Office website here.

St Anselm's Union Parish South Karori, Matariki - Winter Solstice service, 2005

Eco Church NZ collection of Matariki resources

See the Eco Church website for church Matariki resources.

How Matariki will connect us all, by Dr Rangi Matamua

Eco Church NZ recommends this article by Dr Rangi Matamua, a leading expert on Matariki and Māori astronomy, on what it means — and the science that underpins it. Published on E-Tangata, Apr 17, 2022.

Bible te reo Māori resource

  • Read the Bible in Maori - Te Paipera Tapu (the Holy Bible in Māori). Download the Bible Society app which features two English translations – the Good News Bible and the Contemporary English Version – alongside the Māori, so you can compare the same passage in Māori and English.