New Matariki tohu is a ‘metaphor as a nation coming together’, says designer


The government unveiled a new logo for the Matariki holiday.  Left to right: designer Tyrone Ohia, Associate Minister of Arts and Culture Kiri Allan, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Professor Rangi Matamua.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

The government unveiled a new logo for the Matariki holiday. Left to right: designer Tyrone Ohia, Associate Minister of Arts and Culture Kiri Allan, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Professor Rangi Matamua.

A new tohu (logo) for Matariki was unveiled on Tuesday. Its designer and government ministers said it would center Māori mātauranga in Matariki celebrations for generations to come.

Te Tohu o Matariki, designed by Tyrone Ohia (Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāi te Rangi), features nine tukutuku hatches of different colors interwoven on a black background. They represent the nine visible stars that make up the Matariki star cluster and the different characteristics they embody.

Matariki will be celebrated for the first time as a public holiday on Friday, June 24, after it was made official in April.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Professor Rangi Matamua during the hustle and bustle announcement for Matariki.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Professor Rangi Matamua during the hustle and bustle announcement for Matariki.

A slogan, “Mānawatia a Matariki” (or “celebrate Matariki”), was also revealed at the same time.

Ohia said the hustle and bustle was designed to look like stars from afar.

“From a Maori point of view as whānau, they intersect and hold together,” he said. “Likewise, we hope it’s a metaphor for us as a nation coming together under the Maori kaupapa to celebrate in a way distinct from Aotearoa that includes us all.”

He also hoped that people could learn more Matariki stories through Hustle’s use of colors and shapes.

Professor Rangi Matamua, who oversaw the development of the hustle, said it would not replace other symbols or emblems of Matariki, but as a way for people to connect when celebrating it as its first public holiday .

Ardern said the people of Aotearoa would form their own Matariki traditions over time.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

Ardern said the people of Aotearoa would form their own Matariki traditions over time.

“This logo represents something that can integrate and reaffirm our national identity,” he said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she expected people to take ownership of Matariki by forming traditions with their whānau over time.

Maori-Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis said the hustle laid the foundation for what Matariki would seek for future generations and was a step forward for New Zealanders to come to terms with the past and point to the future.

“It’s something our children will learn and they will increasingly understand what it’s like to be Aotearoa in New Zealand.”

Associate Arts and Culture Minister Kiri Allan said the Matariki hustle is a recognition of the Māori tikanga.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

Associate Arts and Culture Minister Kiri Allan said the Matariki hustle is a recognition of the Māori tikanga.

Associate Arts and Culture Minister Kiri Allan said the hustle and bustle was an acknowledgment of the Māori tikanga and that Matariki was an opportunity for all to stop and reflect.

“This is an exciting milestone for Aotearoa New Zealand and contributing to a legacy for our mokopuna and future generations,” she said.

The new holiday will kick off on June 24 in Te Papa with a national Te Hautapu o Matariki, a food offering ceremony marking the rise of Matariki.

Davis said Te Arawhiti has a fund to support Matariki events across the country.

Maori-Crown Relations Minister Kelvin Davis said a ceremony will be held at Te Papa on June 24 to mark Matariki's first public holiday.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

Maori-Crown Relations Minister Kelvin Davis said a ceremony will be held at Te Papa on June 24 to mark Matariki’s first public holiday.

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