The rising of Matariki star cluster (also known to come as the Pleiades star cluster) in the skies above Aotearoa is an important time in the Maramataka (Māori lunar calendar) as it signalises a time for renewal and celebration and the start of the Māori new year .
The Matariki star cluster contains hundreds of stars but only nine are visible by eye. Each of these nine stars has a significant story and significance in Māori culture.
According to one Māori myth, the cluster represents a whaea or mother - Matariki - and her six daughters Tupuānuku, Tupuārangi, Waipunarangi, Waitī, Waitā and Ururangi.
Ka puta Matariki ka rere Whānui.
Ko te tohu tēnā o te tau e!
Matariki reappears, Vega starts its flight.
The new year begins!