How Global Women Partners Champion Matariki 2022

Matariki is about coming together as a whānau and celebrating Māori ways of being and living. There is a whakataukī which says, “Matariki ahunga nui”,  Matariki provider of plentiful food, a nourishing time for the body, mind and soul. As well as for our relationships. Connection and being together is something we need even more at the moment. Matariki means recognising the importance of mātauranga in Aotearoa. 

— Dr Hinemoa Elder, Member

At NZX our social clubs are hosting Matariki celebrations, and like much of New Zealand, these are a chance for our people to gather together and learn more about the mātauranga and traditions of Matariki. For me personally it’s a time of learning and reflection too, and I’ll be attending wananga at my marae to learn more about our Matariki traditions and how this knowledge can be applied in today’s world. With so many experts around New Zealand sharing their knowledge, it’s a great time to get curious and learn something new!

— Lara Robertson  Manager People, NZX Limited

As an organisation operating within Aotearoa, New Zealand it’s important we deepen our understanding of Māori culture, values and experiences to better serve our people, customers and communities and create pride and a sense of belonging for all New Zealanders. 

We’ve been on a journey the last 12 months to authentically embrace the Māori world, and while we still have work to do it’s important to reflect and celebrate where we are and set our sights on the year ahead. 

This Matariki we’ve got a number of activities planned including a kai and kōrero session with the inspirational Hana Maipi, to enlighten us about the maramataka and Matariki, and a special Matariki breakfast at dawn with our kaimahi Māori, mana whenua — Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and key stakeholders who have been part of our journey at ASB.

— Hannah Bennett, ASB

How will you be celebrating Matariki in your Organisation? This year, NZTE is running our ‘Aronga ki Matariki – Road to Matariki’ series. Beginning on May 23rd, NZTE will be dropping weekly bite-sized video, audio or written content about Te Ao Māori and highlighting what our whānau around the world are doing alongside Māori whānau, hapū, Iwi and businesses. This will be our lead-up to our Matariki celebrations this year where our focus is ‘Te Hā ō Matariki – The Breath of Matariki’ where we aim to help our whānau understand and ‘feel’ Matariki wherever they are in the world.

What does Matariki mean to you? We take our lead for this from Te Ao Māori. Matariki at Te Taurapa Tūhono will be focused on acknowledging our people over the past year, connecting more deeply with Te Ao Māori in the present, and planning ahead to ensure every step we take to make Te Ao Māori a part of our identity is intentional and impactful.

— Ezekiel Raui, Māori Capability Lead at Te Taurapa Tūhono – New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Matariki is an opportunity for us all to immerse ourselves in tikanga Māori and Mātauranga Māori, and to come together as a wider IAG whānau – it’s about reflecting on the past, celebrating the present and looking forward to the year ahead.

We’ve all been looking forward to marking the first year of the official public holiday and have a number of celebrations planned, including kapa haka performances, online workshops in partnership with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and plenty of opportunities to share some kai and reflect together.

— Amanda Whiting, Chief Executive Officer, IAG New Zealand

Celebrating Matariki for IAG means wholeheartedly embracing Te Ao Māori and acknowledging the significance this unique occasion holds in Aotearoa. At IAG, our Komiti Whakahaere Māori are leading a range of virtual and in-person events such as; a pre-dawn karakia with waiata and parakuihi (breakfast), kapa haka performances, and an introduction to Maramataka (Māori lunar calendar) with Dr Hēmi Whaanga. These events aim to encourage our people to learn, share and actively engage in the celebrations of Matariki – Te Mātahi o te Tau. We are supportive of our people immersing themselves in tikanga Māori and Mātauranga Māori, encouraging them to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to the year ahead, whilst taking the time to remember colleagues, whānau and friends who have passed since the last rising of Matariki.

— Claire Bourne Manager, Organisational Development, IAG

In appreciation of this year’s Matariki rising, EY NZ is focused on ‘Matariki’ bringing people together and ‘Hiwa-i-te-rangi’ goal setting and aspiration planning. We have traditional ceremonies in each of our NZ offices, shared morning teas, and guest speakers Lissy and Rudy from PROJECT: WHARENUI HARIKOA. The planned activities and celebrations are designed to help us as a firm to show thought leadership, demonstrate cultural awareness and intelligence to indigenous Aotearoa, build a better us, and a better working world.

— Simon O’Connor, Managing Partner, EY

Sky are proud to be sharing the Story of Matariki with our people. Mataia Keepa will be leading us in two online sessions to teach us about the significance of Matariki.

From a personal perspective, my 5 year old daughter knows more about Matariki than I do as she’s been lucky to learn about it at ECE and School. This year I’m actively changing that and I’m excited that Sky is giving me the opportunity to learn about, appreciate and celebrate Matariki.

 — Stephanie Whyte, OD, Culture Change and L&D, Sky

With celebration, reflection, and aspiration at the core of this significant period, we wanted to provide our people with various ways they could acknowledge and get involved with Matariki 2022. 

Kick-starting on the first evening of Matariki, the Chorus whanau will come together for a quiz and kai evening across all four office locations. Teams are also encouraged to gather for a ‘Team Hui’ later in the week to set aspirations for the year. 

Throughout the Mataraiki period, we will continue to promote the Matariki kete in our online Te Ao Māori programme as a way for people to learn more about this special holiday (and put themselves in the draw to win a prize!) We are also delighted to share several programme members’ diverse experiences learning Te Reo and what Matariki means to them via an internal video. 

Celebrating Matariki is essential in helping Chorus continue to embrace biculturalism as part of our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. In addition, these celebrations come at a time when we are focused on the future of Chorus and how we can continue to “Make New Zealand better” — providing an excellent opportunity to reflect, celebrate and think about what’s next.  

— Sarah Archer, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Chorus

At Property Council, Matariki is all about bringing people together to share stories to further connection and understanding.

Externally, we will be using our communications to support and amplify the voices of Māori to share the stories behind Matariki, and to help educate our members. We will also be connecting our members with experts in Māori-led design and highlighting the importance of partnership between mana whenua and our community of city shapers through a planned webinar on 28 June. 

Within our team we will be encouraging kōrero that explores the significance of Matariki, creating a space for learning, reflection and gathering with friends, colleagues and whānau.

Our PwC whānau will be celebrating Matariki by sharing kai in our offices across the motu; firstly to acknowledge the significance of it being a national holiday for the first time ever but to also honour the traditions and tikanga or customs of Te Ao Māori. Our objective is to educate our people about Matariki as a time to wānanga (discuss), to whakamaumahara (remember), to whakanui (celebrate), and to also strengthen ties and connections with mana whenua to encourage kotahitanga — moving forward together. 

— Mark Russell, Chief Transformation Officer, Partner, PwC

How will you be celebrating Matariki in your organisation? On 16 June I’ll be taking a team from our AIA whanau to plant native trees in remembrance of our customers who passed away in 2021, this is part of us demonstrating Manaaki, aroha and whakamahara.

What does celebrating Matariki mean to you? Connection; To my past, my present and future.  Given this year is the first national acknowledgement of Matariki (through the national holiday) I’ll be reflecting on actions I can take to be a kaitiaki of our language and history.  They’ll be small but important steps.

— Sharron Botica, AIA

A sub group of the Maori/ & Pasifika network have put together a plan for Matariki this year. Over the course of the week (Monday 20 – Thursday 24), we will be celebrating Matariki in the following way:

  1. An Inter-Department Te Reo language Competition run via Education Perfect (Monday 20th – Thursday 24th) – we are just confirming the logistics and whether this will be ok under Tech guidelines.
  2. A collated video from members of the Māori & Pasifika Network group outlining what Matariki means to them and their whanau.
  3. Remembering the Past – A link to a short video on what is Matariki. Some members of the group are visual learners and they found that watching a video on the history/ story behind Matariki was easier to digest. We will have through Buzzwords, a short explanation of Matariki and we will add all resources into our Te Reo@AIA sharepoint page.
  4. Celebrating the Present – Matariki is at the end of harvest so there was an abundance of food. People feasted, rejoiced, sang and danced to celebrate the change of season and new beginnings.  As we weren’t able to have our traditional hangi shared lunch in the atrium, we will be doing a Photo Comp where our colleagues will be asked to send in a pic of what food/ dish brings their whanau and friends together. The photos  will be judged and voted by our people. There will be two prizes, one for the most votes and the other will be judged by the Matariki events committee.  The winner will be announced via Buzzwords and at the ExCo Huddle (I’m currently looking at the prize to be a $50 gift card to the Stardome Observatory).
  5. Looking to the future – Matariki was also a time for planning for the year ahead. We had grand plans of having vegetable seeds or seedlings available in the AIA House atrium for colleagues to take away and plant at home, however, we have changed this to a prompt for our colleagues to take a moment to think of their goals or aspirations as we roll into mid-year PDD and development discussions.

There will be a series of internal comms going out through Buzzwords and one from Angela Busby as ExCo sponsor of Ethnicity & Culture (and at the ExCo Huddle).

Brynlea Hunter-Morpeth, AIA

At Tukurau Aotearoa NZ Post, Matariki gives us a meaningful way to reflect on the past 12 months – both the sadness and the celebrations – and to set our aspirations for the coming 12 months. We will bring this to life by creating Matariki-themed communications with graduates of our Te Hononga Māori leadership programme, to be shared company wide.

— Monica Ayers,Chief People Officer, Tukurau Aotearoa NZ Post

How will you be celebrating Matariki in your organisation? At Vista Group we will celebrate Matariki by having an all-staff event, sharing food and remembering loved ones that have contributed and influenced who we are today. Tan Ngaronga, our APAC General Manager will introduce our celebrations with a Karakia. 

What does celebrating Matariki mean to you? Celebrating Matariki and all other traditions and cultures of the people we work alongside is really important and interesting to me. As a foreigner to NZ, I have a lot to learn so celebrating Matariki creates a great learning opportunity for this.

— Susanne North, Head of People & Culture, Vista

Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki.

Matariki is an opportunity for BNZers to honour those that have passed, celebrate the present and refresh our aspirations for the future. It’s a chance to reflect on our shared cultural identity, the importance of tikanga Māori and the significant role we play in helping our customers reach their aspirations. Matariki also provides a unique opportunity for all of us to explore narratives that guide Māori culture, and how they can be applied here at BNZ in a contemporary business context. Balance and female leadership being two notable features. BNZ will embrace Mānawatia a Matariki by providing learning sessions, sharing kai and coming together and celebrating Matariki in many ways.

— Claudia Cook, Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Culture, Leadership & Capability, BNZ

Acknowledge and build awareness: To mark the first year of the celebration of Matariki in Aotearoa we wanted to take a moment to bring our Contact whanau together understand what Matariki means and how we can Mānawatia a Matariki for 2022. We had a wonderful wahine toa, who has whanau connections to Contact come in and speak about Matariki, the principles and values of Matariki – and suggestions on how we may take the time to remember, celebrate and plan for the new year ahead.

Dr Pauline Harris is from the tribes Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaka and Ngāti Kahungunu. She is a Senior Lecturer for the Centre for Science and Society at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). Dr Harris is an astrophysicist who has specialised in high energy neutrino production for inflationary cosmology. Dr Harris’s research currently focuses in mātauranga Māori associated with Māori astronomy, Māori calendars called maramataka as well as climate change. Currently, Dr Harris is the Chairperson for the Society for Māori Astronomy Research and Traditions (SMART). She is also the Deputy Director Māori for the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials in Nanotechnology and the Vision of Mātauranga Theme Leader for the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge. Dr Harris was part of the Matariki Committee and advised the government on the establishment of the Matariki public holiday.

— Corinne Gouldsbury, Head of Operations, People Experience, Contact Energy

Te Roopū Māori o SkyCity (our Māori employee group) have the following list of internal staff activations lined up to mark Matariki this year. The goal being to celebrate and raise awareness of Matariki, to educate our people and create an authentic sense of belonging for Māori.

Matariki video

Matariki video on the stars that make up Matariki will be available on our intranet, social and back of house plasma’s.

24/7 Staff Cafeteria menu

Special menu for 23 & 24 June just to mention a few items below:

Matariki OHO Session (this is a regular speaker series featuring inspiring Māori leaders and influencers)

1pm-2pm Wednesday 22 June – SkyCity Theatre Free for all SkyCity Staff

Join Te Roopū Māori o SkyCity for a special OHO Session to learn about Matariki. What is it, what are the traditional narratives around it, where and when to see it and how to celebrate the Māori New Year.

Matariki Wall

17 June-16 July – SkyCity L1

As part of Matariki ceremony, you are invited to place special stars on our Matariki wall. One to acknowledge someone you may have lost, and another to represent your wishes for the coming year.


Free resource will be available from 24/7 staff cafeteria. You can collect handbook to learn more about Matariki and also, a fun activity booklet for Tamariki, children.

— Claire Walker, Chief People & Culture Officer, SkyCity

KPMG will be celebrating Matariki over a month, playing host to a number of events across the motu. Starting with an informative session about what Matariki symbolises with Jack Thatcher, a prominent master navigator. Next will be a hīkoi up Mauou in Tauranga to star gaze and celebrate the dawn of Matariki. In Tāmaki we will also be heading to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, before sunrise on the first day of Matariki celebrations to take part in their Umu Kohukohu Whetu event. Each office will also host a range of lunch and dinner celebrations with traditional Māori kai. Lots on!

—Sophie Hart, KPMG

Two Māori wahine within KPMG weigh in on what Matariki means to them:

Teina: To me, Matariki means a fresh slate, the beginning of a new year but more importantly the beginning of a new chapter in life. Personally, I always have a surge of energy around this time of year, I like to focus this energy on setting new goals and targets. I am appreciative to work in a firm where others around me are encouraged to also do this, via the Matariki Challenge on KPMG@Wellbeing.

Maia: Matariki has always been a key point in Te Ao Māori that signifies fresh starts and fresh beginnings. Celebrating Matariki means to me that it is a time to acknowledge our past (our past traditions and remember our people who have past on) and get ready for our future (new traditions and new beginnings). I am very grateful to work at KPMG where celebrating matariki is so openly encouraged.

Genesis Energy is going big this year to celebrate Matariki, hosted by our Inclusion Council.  We’re kicking off by sharing kupu relating to Matariki each week leading up, and each day during the Matariki period. We’ll also be sharing information throughout the week to grow and enhance our knowledge of Matariki.  We’re hosting breakfasts during the week that Matariki has risen and a Lunch and Learn session for our people to attend to discuss and learn more about Matariki, the stories and traditional celebrations, what it means in modern times, and to reflect on how they might spend the public holiday with their whanau and friends.  

— Areta Mackey, Planning Manager (Thermal) – Huntly Power Station, Genesis Energy

How will you be celebrating Matariki in your organisation? We’re encouraging our people, our customers and our communities to come together, form new traditions, and celebrate this new national holiday with friends and whānau. We’re providing Matariki “starter kits” to a number of employees and customers with information about Matariki which includes karakia, recipes, and activities.

What does celebrating Matariki mean to you? We’re celebrating Matariki by embracing mahi tahi tātou, kaha ake tātou – together we are greater. This means celebrating the occasion through shared stories, experiences, and by being together whether on-line, in person or at home. Celebrating our unique culture that belongs to everyone in Aotearoa

— Fonteyn Moses-Te Kani, Westpac

“I have been on my journey of awareness and learning about te ao Māori including te reo for a few years now – and I am still on that journey. In the same way, I think we as a country are still finding our way on celebrating Matariki, the Māori New Year. There is no one tikanga way of celebration, and we should probably reflect the celebrations of mana whenua in each region.

I was interested to learn in some iwi narratives how the cooking of the hangi releases steam back to the heavens to satisfy those stars in the cluster that signify those aspects of food (like kumara for the star known as Tupuānuku, for example). As the sharing of kai is seemingly a key part in all celebrations, we did want to acknowledge Matariki at Transpower and provide an experience for our people. Over the next two weeks we have organised hangi and shared lunches at our offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch where we plan to gather together and acknowledge the year just passed, and the one ahead.”

— Alison Andrew, Chief Executive, Transpower

For our Toi Moana whānau Matariki is a time where we reflect on the year gone, we take the time to farewell our loved ones while we use this time to connect and wānanga opportunities with our whanau and friends for the coming year.  

We have some exciting mahi planned for Matariki –we have special guests speakers, office kite making – manutukutuku activities, a star gazing walk, kai, waiata and much more.  We are encouraging our staff to participate in these activities for their wellbeing and to let Matariki draw us closer together.

— Karen Aspey

At Russell McVeagh this Matariki, the firm focussed on emphasising the meaning behind Matariki to staff and partners.  This was done through a variety of measures including:

Celebrating Matariki at Russell McVeagh is a chance to not only acknowledge and uplift Te Ao Māori within our organisation, but to encourage everyone to learn more about Āotearoa’s rich Māori culture, come together over kai, and share their aspirations for the year ahead.

We believe the celebrations and activities undertaken throughout the week are stepping stones towards building a greater understanding of Te Ao Māori and increasing our cultural competencies and capabilities as an organisation. Matariki also provides us, as an organisation, with an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come on our journey towards embedding greater tikanga practices into the way we operate.

Te Ao Māori is a significant part of what makes Āotearoa what it is, and it is important that we do our best to afford it the respect and recognition it deserves and, in this case, we look to do that by providing our people with opportunities to learn about and celebrate Matariki.

— Heather Dodge, Learning & Organisational Development Manager | D&I Lead, on behalf of Russell McVeagh Ethnicity D&I sub-committee

At MinterEllisonRudd Wats, Matariki is important because it signals the Māori New Year. It is a time of renewal and celebration in New Zealand that begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster. The first public holiday to celebrate Matariki will be on Friday 24 June 2022. Matariki, as a marker of transition, is a time of remembrance to honour those who have passed away in the previous year. It is also a time for fun and learning, where families gather together during the long, cold nights of Matariki for learning, games, and sharing kai.

As we build our own focus on Te Ao Māori and tikanga Māori, Matariki is the perfect time for us to come together to discuss our aspirations for the firm in the year ahead.

We are inviting all staff to reflect on the tau (year) that has passed, celebrate the present and help us plan for the future through:

  1. Matariki Hunga Nui (the many people of Matariki) – gathering to remember those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki. We’d like to remember those from MERW that we have lost, to mourn and honour them. Traditionally these names are read out during the Matariki celebration, and we have decided to do this at our celebration too. We are asking people to send names of those they would like to have remembered (including over the past several years) for HR to read out.
  2. Matariki Ahunga Nui (great food piles of Matariki) – giving thanks for the blessings of the past year and reconnecting through kai and feasting. We invite everyone to join us for a shared morning tea on Thursday 23 June, starting with a karakia.
  3. Matariki Manako Nui (wishes and desires) – Māori send their hopes and dreams into the stars during Matariki. Many wishes are connected to wellbeing of people and the taiao (environment). We would like to also look to the future by asking everyone to put a note in a time capsule about their aspirations for MERW in building our Te Ao Maori and tikanga Māori knowledge and understanding. We will open our time capsule at Matariki next year and see how far we’ve come.

We have published in “Watts News” (our internal news publication) a range of events you can join in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington). We particularly encourage everyone to attend the virtual TupaToa two-part online series to learn more about the significance of Matariki and the stars. Register Monday 12:30pm-1:15pm and/or Wednesday 11:00am-11:45am.