Maramataka

Where can I find information about the maramataka (Māori calendar)?

Entry last updated: 27/05/24

Introduction

Maramataka is the calendar of the Māori year. The year starts in Piripi (June/July) when the stars of Matariki can first be seen in the sky.

Maramataka was traditionally used by Māori to tell the best times of year for fishing, hunting, and growing different foods.

Months of maramataka

Months in maramataka are measured with the moon, making these Lunar months. Most iwi start their months with the new moon (Whiro), but some begin at the full moon (Rākaunui). A year in maramataka has 12 or 13 lunar months.

Piripi: May–June

Hongonui: June–July

Here-turi-kōkā: July–August

Mahuru: August–September

Whiringa-ā-nuku: September–October

Whiringa-ā-rangi: October–November

Hakihea: November–December

Kohi-tātea: December–January

Hui-tanguru: January–February

Poutū-te-rangi: February–March

Paenga-whāwhā: March–April

Haratua: April–May

General websites

Look at these websites to find out about maramataka.

Te Papa Tongarewa | Museum of New Zealand

Aotearoa New Zealand's national museum in Wellington has lots of information on maramataka that can be read online.

  • Enter 'maramataka' into the search box at the top of the page.

  • You can find here a link called The Maramataka | Māori calendar.

  • The link What is the Maramataka | the Māori lunar calendar? has more information about months of maramataka, and what they mean to Māori.

Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we look down to the bottom of the page, we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

Christchurch City Libraries

Christchurch City Libraries is a group of public libraries belonging to Christchurch City Council. Its website has lots of pages of information on popular New Zealand topics such as maramataka.

  • Choose Website in the box called Search the.

  • Then enter 'maramataka' into the search box.

  • Choose the link called Matariki: Learning about maramataka to find heaps of information about stories, traditions, and links to other places to find even more information about maramataka.

Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!

Museums Wellington

This is the official website of the museums in Wellington. It has information about the different phases of the moon.

  • Select the magnifying glass at the top of the page to bring up the search bar.

  • Search for 'maramataka'.

  • Choose Matariki – The Māori Phases of the Moon.

  • Look down the page for the different phases of the moon, the Māori name for them, and what it is good or bad for.

Books

Many books can be found with information about maramataka. Check with your local public or school library for a bigger range of titles.

Some interesting titles are:

Topics covered

Related content

Back to Many Answers