Matariki: the season of food

Matariki is the Māori New Year in Aotearoa New Zealand, when the appearance of the Matariki (Pleiades) constellation in the North-East horizon signals the change in season.

Traditionally, Matariki is seen as a time to share with each other, for family and friends to come together and share in the gifts that the land and sea had provided for them. Matariki was a special time for all Māori, and is today the largest indigenous celebration in the New Zealand year.




Matariki is the season of food; when the kumara is planted, crops have been harvested, preserved food is plentiful and the fish are swimming.

Food is central to hospitality for Māori, as in other cultures. The act of sharing a meal has special significance when meeting, negotiating and celebrating in many parts of the world, and Polynesian cultures (Māori included) are no exception.

Today, Matariki is celebrated around the country with events, performance, activities and food. Look for hangi, seafood and contemporary Māori foods at food-focussed activities around the country this Matariki festival - and celebrate Matariki with the people in your life, by sharing a meal and reflecting on the year you have had, and months to come.

Ki taku whānau, me ngā hoa, me te kai – kia ora.

Our family, our friends, our food – we say thank you.

Find Food Space vendors at Matariki events here