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Te Takanga o te Rā / Matariki Quiz

Sponsored by Unison

Here you will find links and kōrero to assist in the quiz
Matariki Resources

There are many cool links to more information and downloadable resources below about Matariki

Te kāhui whetū o Matariki and Ngā mata o te Ariki are some of the common names used for Matariki (Pleiades) in Aotearoa.

​In the Kahungunu\Hawke's Bay area each year we see Matariki set around the second week in April to the North West, it is not seen again for approximately two whole months as it is too close to the sun. Matariki can be seen rising for the first time in mid June to the North East every year. Other rohe around Aotearoa might differ by a week or so depending on the landscape of the horizon or the latitude.

The time of its rising co-insides with te Takanga o te Rā o Takurua (Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere), and Matariki rises on almost the same spot on the horizon and approx two hours before Tama nui te rā (the sun). This is one of the main reasons why Matariki is seen as such an important star cluster to Māori and other cultures around the world.

Matariki can mean many things to many people, for us we believe that Matariki is a sign of cycles, some ending and some beginning. Its a chance to reflect on the previous year (cycle of Tama nui te Rā), remember te hunga mate (those who have passed away), to assess the previous year's harvests and hopefully celebrate it with hākari. It's also a chance to look to the next year, to assess the tohu from the various whetū within Matariki.

Ngā Tohu o te tau hou
Signs of the Māori New Year

There are other signs in the sky that help show us when the new year is upon us.

Takanga o te Rā - Probably the main tohu is the sun appearing to stop around the same sunrise point for a couple weeks, then slowly turning back towards the East, thus the name takanga o te rā - dropping/passage of the sun

Te Waka o Tamarēreti - For many parts of Aotearoa including Tākitimu waka kōrero, the great waka of Tamarēreti has its ihu (bow) setting in Te matau a Māui (Scorpio) and stretches almost 180 degrees along the horizon to Tautoru (Orion's belt). It is the only time of year the waka can be seen pre dawn like this.

Matariki - Rising from the same place as the sun on te Takanga o te Rā o Takurua

Puanga/Puaka (Rigel) - Rising above tautoru to the east in early June just before sunrise - there seems to be alot of kōrero of Puanga/Puaka from te Hauauru (Western areas) and Te Waipounamu (South Island)

Rehua (Antares) - Setting pre dawn in the South West sky, when Rehua rises pre dawn in December in the South East it heralds te Takanga o te Rā o Raumati.

Maramataka (Moon cycles) - These are localised to the many rohe throughout Aotearoa. The moon  determined when certain wānanga or celebrations were held, however as it is different from year to year at this time, it does not determine when we will see Matariki.

Quiz Rules

The quiz is designed to get schools and classes from years 4-8 throughout Hawkes Bay competing to win the prize of the Star dome / whare whetū to come to their school for half a day, the winning class members will also receive a free Pitta Pit lunch. The quiz is online and designed as a class activity to be done on a large screen, it should take 10-15 minutes to complete.


Each classroom can take the quiz once, any further attempts will not count

  • All questions are multi choice, the first question you must put the name of your school, classroom and Teacher

  • The Leaderboard can be found by refreshing this page anytime after the quiz has been completed

  • Classes have up to July 31st to do the quiz

  • If there are multiple classes ending in first place, we will do an online draw

Unsion has kindly offered to help sponsor this year's Matariki Quiz for Hawkes Bay schools, Here you will find out more information about keeping tamariki safe in and around power and electricity

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