Aotearoa invited to join RNZ for Matariki

2:42 pm on 16 June 2022

RNZ is set to celebrate Matariki on 24 June with a broad range of programming across radio and digital services and the official Mānawatia a Matariki celebrations streaming live on

Portrait of Māni Dunlop and Julian Wilcox with a stylised Matariki constellation

Julian Wilcox and Māni Dunlop will host coverage of celebrations taking place at Te Papa. Photo: RNZ / Jayne Joyce

RNZ's Tumu Māori Shannon Haunui-Thompson says that the Matariki programming will be vibrant and exciting and a wonderful way for the people of Aotearoa to learn about and engage with Matariki.

"This programming is a fitting way to honour one of the most important days in te ao Māori and the first Matariki public holiday - a day of reflection, celebration and looking to the future," she said.

Matariki programming highlights

RNZ National

  • 6am Matariki - Mānawatia: Julian Wilcox and Māni Dunlop live from the celebrations at Te Papa. The show will feature coverage of the official ceremony, plus live music and korero.
  • 11am He Korokoro Tui: Justine Murray presents a selection of her favourite waiata.
  • 12pm Matariki Music Special: Kara Rickard and Mark Williams (aka MC Slave) host a five-hour music special featuring live recordings and interviews around the themes of Matariki.
  • 6.15pm Te Ahi Kaa: Justine Murray is with Māori astronomer Professor Rangi Mataamua at his home where he talks about his foray into everything Matariki and the popular web series Living by The Stars.
  • 8pm Troy Kingi in session: A selection from multi-award-winning musician Troy Kingi's live sessions recorded at RNZ.
  • 9pm Country Life: A special Matariki edition.
  • Dr Rangi Mataamua, Māori Astronomer, author and winner of the top communication prize at this years Prime Ministers Science Awards.

    Professor Rangi Mataamua will share some of his knowledge as part of RNZ's coverage of the country's first public holiday to celebrate Matariki. Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

    RNZ Concert

    Across the day RNZ Concert will share music reflecting the attributes of each of the Matariki stars, culminating in listeners' requests in honour of Hiwa-i-te-rangi - the wishing star between 4pm-6pm.

    RNZ Concert will also celebrate 50 years of the world's biggest Kapa Haka festival Te Matatini, with three special programmes of Te Matatini recordings presented by Julian Wilcox and Te Matatini 50 music director Rob Ruha, airing at 7pm on Friday, Saturday and Monday of Matariki weekend.

    From 8pm RNZ Concert's award-winning recording of Ngā Hihi o Matariki by Gareth Farr and Ariana Tikao will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, followed by the debut broadcast of Ad Parnassum - Purapurawhetū by Dame Gillian Whitehead performed by the NZ String Quartet and Al Fraser (taonga puoro).


    RNZ's Rangitahi platform TAHI will celebrate Matariki with a te reo Māori song at the top of every hour on the music stream and a special Matariki playlist celebrating future stars of local music.

    RNZ's website

    The official Celebrate Matariki programme will be streaming live on from 6am-11am and the website will also feature a live blog from 5.30am.

    Celebrate Matariki will mark the country's first public holiday centred on Māori culture. The festivities will be hosted by Stacey Morrison and Mātai Smith beginning at dawn with a traditional Hautapu ceremony.

    Stacey-Morrison; healthy-or-hoax

    Stacey Morrison Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

    Following the hautapu ceremony and an address from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, there will be commentary and panel discussions based on the three themes of Matariki:

    • A chance to reflect: remembering those we have lost and acknowledging our own journey over the last year.
    • A time to celebrate: reconnecting with whānau, friends and food
    • A reset: preparing for the year ahead with a focus on wellbeing and life balance.

    Music will also play a large part with three acoustic sets featuring live performances from leading and emerging artists.

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