And should it be made a public holiday?
Before the turn of this century, few people knew of Matariki or understood its significance. Now, people across the country celebrate Matariki as if we always have. As Stuff begins a campaign to mark Matariki with a public holiday, National Correspondent Carmen Parahi explains its meaning and significance to Aotearoa New Zealand.
WHAT IS MATARIKI?
Matariki is the Māori name used to describe the entire star cluster also known as Pleiades.
Before sunrise during New Zealand’s winter, the cluster is visible as a faint sparkle of tiny dots when you look towards the northeast horizon.
Its appearance heralds the end of one year and the beginning of another, the Māori new year.
Generally, Māori acknowledge nine main stars in the group.