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Appointment of Professor Rangiānehu Mātāmua, Chief Advisor Mātauranga Matariki

Media release: 1 November 2022

Appointment of Professor Rangiānehu Mātāmua, Chief Advisor Mātauranga Matariki

E harikoa ana te Minita Tuarua mō te Toi, te Ahurea me te Tuku Ihotanga, a Kiri Allan, ki te pānui i te kopounga o Ahorangi Rangiānehu Mātāmua (Ngāi Tūhoe) hei Kaiārahi Matua – Mātauranga Matariki, ka mahi mai i te Manatū Taonga.

Hei tā Kiri Allan, “Ka nui te whakahī o te ngākau i ngā mahi kua mahia ki te tautoko i a Matariki, tā tātou hararei tūmatanui tuatahi e āta aro ana ki Te Ao Māori, i te whakamanahia o te hararei tūmatanui hou, me te kopoua hoki o Ahorangi Mātāmua hei Kaiārahi Matua – Mātauranga Matariki”.

“I tana noho hei kaiārahi matua mō te hararei tūmatanui tuatahi i runga i tā mātou whakamana, whakanui i te mātauranga tangata whenua, ka kawea mai e Ahorangi Mātāmua te wheako hiranga me te mātauranga motuhake, ko ia nei hoki tētahi o ngā tohunga mō te mātauranga Mātariki i Aotearoa.  

“I te noho anō hei kaitaunaki, hei māngai mō Matariki, ka haere tonu te tautoko a Ahorangi Mātāmua i te noho mārama ki ngā mātauranga kei te pūtake o Matariki – e mau pūmau ai te hararei tūmatanui me ōna āhuatanga motuhake, āna tikanga motuhake, ki te ahurea o te motu.  

“Ko ia te kaiārahi matua a te Kāwanatanga mō te mātauranga Matariki, me te aha, mā Ahorangi Mātāmua e whakarite te ahunga mō te āhua ki te tautoko i ngā iwi me ngā hapori rere noa i te motu ki te whakarauora, ki te whakanui i ngā mātauranga e pā ana ki a Matariki – tae atu ki Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki. 

Kua whiwhi ia i tana Tohu Kairangi mō te mātauranga Māori, he ahorangi ia i Te Kunenga Ki Purehuroa ki Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, Kura o te Mātauranga Māori. E kapi ana i ana mahi rangahau whānui te mātai arorangi Māori me te mātai whetu, te ahurea Māori, te whanaketanga, te rangahau, me te whakarauoratanga o te reo Māori – he wāhanga nui i takea mai i ana tīpuna tokomaha o tana iwi o Tūhoe. 

“He mea nui whakaharahara mō te motu te whakatūria me te aro tuatahitia o te hararei tūmatanui o Matariki i te 24 o Pipiri o tēnei tau.

“I tana noho i mua hei Toihau mō te Rōpū Ārahi o Matariki, he kawenga nui tā Ahorangi Mātāmua ki te tohu mō āhea, he aha ai, me pēhea anō te whakanui i a Matariki, e noho tūturu mai ai te mātāpono me ngā uara o nehe ki te pūtake.

“I ngā wheako whānui a Ahorangi Mātāmua, ka tū rangatira ia ki tana tūranga ki te tiaki me te whakapakari i ō tātou mātauranga mō Matariki. Ko ngā kākano rangatira ka whakatōkia i te whakatūnga o te tūranga o te Kaiārahi Matua – Mātauranga Māori ka tino whai hua ngā reanga kei te piki ake i te whakanuia o tētahi hararei ahurei e whāiti mai ana ki Aotearoa motuhake”.  

Hei tā Ahorangi Mātāmua, “Noku te hōnore nui i te āta kopoua ōku ki tētahi tūranga e whakamana ana i te hiranga o te mahi tahi ki a ngāi Māori ki te whakanui me te whakarauora i te mātauranga Matariki i tā tātou Hararei Tūmatanui hou”.  

“Whakamīharo ana te kite i ngā whānau me ngā hapori huri noa i Aotearoa e whakakotahi ana ki te aro ake ki ētahi whetū e iwa i te atatū, he tuatahitanga tēnei. Ka kaha tonu au ki ngā mahi e tipu tonu ai te tūāpapa me ngā waihotanga iho a te Rōpū Kaiarahi o Matariki, e noho tūturu ai a Matariki hei kaupapa ahurei mō te iwi Māori, mō ngā hapori, otirā mō Aotearoa nui tonu.”  

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Rangiānehu Mātāmua (Ngāi Tūhoe) as Chief Advisor – Mātauranga Matariki, operating through Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

“I am immensely proud of the work we have done to support Matariki, our first public holiday that distinctly recognises Te Ao Māori, through the new public holiday and welcome the appointment of Professor Mātāmua as Chief Advisor – Mātauranga Matariki” Kiri Allan said.

“Serving as a key adviser of the first public holiday based on our recognising and celebrating indigenous mātauranga, Professor Mātāmua brings with him significant experience and specialised mātauranga as one of the leading Matariki experts in Aotearoa.

“As our national advocate and spokesperson for Matariki, Professor Mātāmua will continue to support an appropriate understanding of the knowledge base from which Matariki is derived – embedding the public holiday, with its own unique identity with distinctive traditions, into our nation’s culture.

“As the Government’s primary advisor on mātauranga Matariki, Professor Mātāmua will provide direction about how we best support iwi and communities across the motu to regenerate and celebrate their mātauranga relating to Matariki – including as a part of Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki/Matariki Observance Day.

Holding a PhD in Māori studies, Professor Mātāmua is a professor at Te Kunenga Ki Purehuroa Massey University’s Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Knowledge. His breadth of research encompasses Māori astronomy and star lore, Māori culture, and Māori language development, research, and revitalisation – much of this derived from his many tribal ancestors of Tūhoe.

“This year’s establishment and inaugural observance of the Matariki public holiday on 24 June was a historic moment for our island nation.

“As the former Chair of the Matariki Advisory Group, Professor Mātāmua was instrumental in establishing when, why and how Matariki should celebrated, ensuring our observance of Matariki was underpinned by traditional Māori principles and values.

“Professor Mātāmua’s vast experiences will stand him in great stead in his role of safeguarding and strengthening our knowledge around Matariki. The rewards sown from the establishment of the Chief Advisor – Mātauranga Māori role, will greatly benefit future generations to come in celebrating what is, a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand holiday,” Kiri Allan said.

“It is an incredible honour to be formally appointed into a role that recognises the importance of working with Māori to celebrate and regenerate mātauranga Matariki through our new Public Holiday,” said Professor Mātāmua.

“It was truly extraordinary to witness whānau and communities across Aotearoa come together to, for the first time, officially observe the nine stars in the dawn sky. Building upon the foundation and legacy of the Matariki Advisory Group, I will continue this work to ensure Matariki remains a momentous occasion for iwi Māori, kaupapa communities and all New Zealanders.”


Updated on 24th November 2022