Maori Translations


Maori Translations

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises just once a year, in mid-winter – late May or early June.

For many Māori, it heralds a Māori cultural celebration in New Zealand which marks the start of the Māori New Year.

Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki) and the rising of the stars is traditionally a time to remember those who had died in the last year. Matariki is also a happy time; crop and seafood gathering provides plenty of food in the storehouses and this is a time for singing, dancing and feasting. A special feature of Matariki celebrations is the flying of kites – according to ancient custom they flutter close to the stars.

For more about Matariki from NZTC's Chief Editor Patrick King, or to learn about NZTC’s 30 years’ of experience in translating to and from Māori, please contact our team at