Brockville School Matariki Community Celebration

Piki mai, tauti mai! Brockville folk are invited to Brockville School to celebrate Puaka Matariki with songs, video, art work and stories, followed by shared kai of soup and bread prepared by the whole school and served by the senior students.

Brockville School Hall, 263 Brockville Road, Brockville

Friday 29 June, 1‒3pm. FREE

Contact tania@brockville.school.nz         03 476 3717

Māori Hill School Matariki Celebration

This year, we are excited to be holding our very special Matariki Celebration in the evening! Our school children will prepare for Puaka Matariki through sharing stories, language, art and music. The event begins with a lantern parade to the chapel where each class and group will share their learning with whānau and the community. Our kapa haka and choir will perform then we will follow the lanterns out of the chapel. A wonderful time for our school whānau and community!

John McGlashan College chapel, 2 Pilkington Street, Māori Hill

Thursday 28 June, 5.30‒7pm. Gold coin koha

Contact office@maorihill.school.nz          03 464 0184              maorihill.school.nz

Big Rock Primary Brighton Matariki Celebration

Nau mai, haere mai! The wider Brighton community is invited to join our Puaka Matariki celebration. Our school kaumatua will lead our kapa haka with blessings and waiata, and the tamariki will decorate Brighton Hall and help prepare the evening’s hākari of hāngī and pig on a spit when they will share with whānau what they have learnt about the significance of the winter stars.

Hāngī tickets available from the school – $25 per whānau.

Big Rock Primary, 2 Bath Street, Brighton

Wednesday 27 June, from 9am

Contact David Grant       principal@bigrock.school.nz        03 481 1781

 

Storytelling at Matariki

Renowned local storyteller Kaitrin McMullan will entertain, amuse and delight Dunedin kindergarten children, teachers and whānau with Puaka Matariki stories from around the Pacific. Kindergartens will invite families and wider community to attend special gatherings, and depending on the time of day they will go outside and look for the ‘super stars’ of the sky.

Contact your local kindy – Bayfield, Halfway Bush, Port Chalmers, Richard Hudson, Rotary Park, Saint Clair, Wakari – for details.

Mana Manaaki Puawai o Ōtepoti – Dunedin Kindergartens

Tuesday 5 June to Friday 6 July; various times – each kindergarten will host the story teller at a time to suit them. FREE

Contact lee@dk.org.nz                 027 224 8543              dunedinkindergartens.org.nz

Visibility of Puaka and Matariki

Alan Gilmore, the former superintendent of the University of Canterbury Mount John Observatory at Tekapo, explains the difference between the reappearance of Puaka and the rising of Matariki each winter.

The Earth circles the Sun through the year. This causes the Sun to appear to move a little east against the background stars each day. We take our time from the Sun, not from the stars, so we see the stars shifting a little west each day. This causes the stars to rise and set four minutes earlier each day. That is why we see different stars at different times of the year.

Most people know the pattern of ‘The Pot’ or ‘The Saucepan’, Orion’s belt and sword in European and Middle Eastern astronomy. The Pot is first seen in the evening sky in spring when it is rising in the east. By summer it is midway up our northern sky at dusk. (Puaka/Rigel, a bright bluish star, is then straight above The Pot.) In the autumn The Pot falls lower in the western sky. Around the beginning of June it can be seen both setting in the dusk and rising in the dawn. So it never completely disappears from our sky. The three bright stars of The Pot are on the equator of the sky.

Stars in the south stay in our sky all the time. The Southern Cross is nearly overhead on May and June evenings. In August and September it is nearly on its side on the southwest. In November it is upside down low on the south skyline. In February–March it is on its other side in the southeast sky.

The Earth’s axis is tilted to its orbit. That is why we have seasons. In our summer the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun. In our winter, when the Earth is around the other side of the Sun, the southern hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun. Between the summer and winter the Earth’s equator is pointed at the Sun. That’s when we have the equinoxes: equal day and night.

The Earth’s tilt causes the Sun’s annual track through the stars to be tilted to the equator of the sky. In our summer the Sun hides star patterns of the southern sky around the Scorpion and Sagittarius. As the Sun moves on these constellations appear in the dawn sky. They are overhead in mid-winter.

The Matariki/Pleiades star cluster is in the north sky close to the Sun’s track. So Matariki is hidden by the Sun from late April to mid-June as the Sun moves past that part of the sky.

The Sun’s track is well north of, or below, Orion. So Puaka is never hidden by the Sun from our southern hemisphere viewpoint. At the end of May and for most of June Puaka can be seen both setting in the western sky at dusk and rising in the eastern sky at dawn.

Matariki, being a cluster of stars much fainter than Puaka, is not seen in bright twilight nor when it is near the horizon. It has to be higher in a darker sky to be seen. There are no reliable naked-eye sightings of Matariki before June 14.

Approximate rise times for Puaka/Rigel, the Sun and Matariki at Dunedin (a.m. NZST)
Date           Puaka/Rigel       Sun        Matariki
May 20          7:20                 7:50
May 25          7:00                 7:55
May 30          6:40                 8:00
June 4            6:21                 8:05            7:14
June 9            6:01                 8:08            6:55
June 14          5:41                 8:11            6:35
June 19          5:22                 8:13            6:15