Matariki celebrations at Otamatea High School

By Scarlett Stephenson Year 7

On the 20th of June 2022 Otamatea High School Year 7/8 syndicate celebrated Matariki

Matariki is a time dedicated to NZ where people celebrate the Maori New Year. It also has become a new public holiday which happened on the 24th June this year, this is the first year it has become a public holiday. It happens different times every year when a cluster of stars appear in the night sky. It means to reflect on the previous year, focus on the present, and look forward to the next!

In the morning all the Year 7 and 8 students gathered in the hall and everybody's classes were placed in different areas around the school for a half hour activity. In the Whare there was cookie decorating. The kids decorated from five or under different shaped star cookies and then put them in a bag to give to a loved one or a friend saying thank you.

In the hall,  the different years got together with Matua Wiremu to have a Haka-off! It started with a five minute warm up with some senior leaders from the kapa-haka group. Then both years sung the waiata and haka trying to beat the sound levels coming from the other year. In the end the Year 8 won after out sounding and out performing the youngsters.

Last but not least there was making poi in A2. It was a simple step by step technique. However braiding the rope wasn't as simple for some. After there was a delicious shared lunch with bread, pumpkin, bacon, onion, and vegetable soup to go around. 

Marvelous sky view at night
Active stars providing hope
Trekking for the perfect spot to see the stars
Arranging dinners with whanau
Researching to know where to look 
Imagining, dreaming, hoping
Kai piled up high
In the sky rest the star cluster

                                By Scarlett Stephenson

Food festive 
Preparing feasting sorting 
Stars games whanau fun 
Planning singing remembering
Brightful delightful
Maori new year 

                              By Sarah Vernall