Matariki Week 2016

Matariki Week Images

Traditionally, the first new moon after the rise of the Matariki signals the start of the Māori New Year and a time for renewal, reflection and celebration. This year that occurred on 6 June, Queen’s Birthday Monday, so in order to avoid the stresses a shortened week would have added to the frenzy of activities, Matariki Week was held in the following week.

With that never-give-up attitude, leaders Zoe Henderson, Anna Connolly, Caitlin Katipa-Maikuku, and Trent Maguire did a fantastic job of encouraging full participation from their House members.


They had to oversee operations as their Houses got into the mahi of providing kai in the Hall, rallying House talent, solving quiz questions, listing All Stars achievements, and practising four items for the Matariki Challenge performance, Quite clearly, the assistance provided by supportive teachers boosted their confidence when despair was staring them in the face.

Just as clear was the relief that came with the network of contacts who gave guidance with the performance brackets or cooked the fried bread. Mā whero, mā pango i oti ai te mahi. 

The mihi which was introduced this year was complemented by the waiata that had been taught to the full school in the first term. Four speakers represented their Houses with every intention to whakamana the role of a speaker. We acknowledge Tirua George, Charles Ward, Manaaki Rewi-Wetini and Rikihana Rhind-Williams for stepping up where others feared to tread. Given that each House was allowed eight minutes to perform their bracket, the two-minute speech was a definite challenge to be concise yet show the ability to acknowledge the kaupapa of Matariki appropriately. Tau kē e tama mā. Ka mau te wehi. 

In this, our ninth year of ringing in the Māori New Year, we can celebrate the ongoing display of leadership and unity in the Houses and reflect on the admiration we have for our cultural swingers. When you sing and haka your hearts out as if you were native speakers of te reo, you stir a well of pride in us all. Do continue to give it heaps, giving it all you’ve got wherever you go in our precious world. Karawhiua!

With all the performances completed, it was now down to the judges. Mr Dunn, Mr Jenkinson, Whaea Sandra Paki and Whaea Rangiawatea Tāne collated their final points and the computer did the rest.

 What an awkward and awful moment it was to be on the verge of announcing the aggregate winner of the week’s activities then feel the need to double check points’ details. Did Kayda Adams points for winning the Junior Talent get deducted from Hotson and returned to Eveleigh? Was the draw really between Brown and Hotson? Did the judges double check the points awarded for the mihi? Everything checked out and so it was that we came to the point of separating a draw by virtue of points allocated for the mihi.

This year we will remember that Hotson received the Matariki trophy; Charles Ward deserved the aroha, support and admiration of his peers and teachers, and a Matariki draw shall never be decided on the mihi ever again.

Though the events are unrelated, we take the opportunity here to congratulate Charles for taking to the stage in a different forum in Term 4 and claiming the Moorhead Cup for his Senior Speech effort. His speech was hugely influenced by his attendance at the Ngā Manu Kōrero National Speech Contest in Whangarei at the end of Term 3. Charles truly epitomized the essence of Matariki for in his journey to the winner’s podium there was time for renewal of strength; time for reflection on past experiences; and finally time for celebration of a deserved triumph.

Mā te Atua tatou katoa hei tiaki, hei manaaki.

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