Leonard Cockayne Lawn, Ōtari-Wiltons Bush
Matariki cannot be seen from everywhere in Aotearoa, this the case for Taranaki Whanui who recognise Puanga in place of Matariki. Puanga rises first and can be seen from Taranaki and Wellington. Puanga is a star that can connect all people due to its ability to be seen across the skies.
This year we have painted Puanga on the Leonard Cockayne Lawn at Ōtari-Wilton’s bush. Ōtari is home to the flower Puawānanga (Clematis), who is known as the child of two stars of the heavensRehua, the father, and Puanga, the mother. When you visit the star, be sure to visit her daughter flowering by the Leonard Cockayne building.
Wightwicks field (in Trelissick park)
Waitī (Maia) watches over our freshwater environments. As the waters flow, she sees how they support us, provide for us, connect us, and sustain us. She encourages us to listen, and to learn from them.
You will find our Waitī star at Wightwick Park (in Trelissick park). Kaiwharawhara was one of the first kainga established in 1824-1825 by Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga Nihoputa migrants from Taranaki and is also the longest river within Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Kaiwharawhara talks to Kai (food) and Wharawhara (the fruit of the Astelia) which grew in abundance above the streambed.
The awa starts high in the hills of Zealandia sanctuary as an unpolluted life-giving river and is home to many native and threatened creatures. The river reaches the sea at the bottom of the Ngaio Gorge.
Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout
Matariki is the mother of the stars in the constellation. She gathers the people together and connects them with our environment. She inspires us, the people, to do the same.
Our Matariki star can be found at Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout. At least five streams flow from Te Ahumairangi, including Pipitea, Tiakiwai, Tutaenui, Waipiro and Kumutoto. It is said that Maori women laboured and gave birth here and, a part of the Kumutoto stream was tapu. The name Kumutoto reflects the stream’s relationship to birthing.
Waitā and Waitī are Matariki’s twins. Patatūānuku knew that they would be able to care for the smallest and fastest of creatures – because they too know about being a team.
Our Waitā star sits within Taputeranga Marine Reserve, between Ōwhiro Bay Beach and Te Kopahou Visitor Centre. This area is protected and allows our taonga species (both plant and animal) to survive and flourish. Take the time to check out the rock pools and see what you can find, or you can walk through Te Kopahou Reserve to Red Rocks / Pariwhero and you might be lucky enough to see some seals.
Waipuna-ā-rangi welcomes the winter sky waters in all their forms – ua (rain), ua nganga (hail), and hukarere (snow). She sees how these waters contribute to the healthy cycle of our earth and the effects when they don’t arrive. Waipuna-ā-rangi encourages us to reflect about climate change, and what we can do today to lessen the problem.
You will find our Waipuna-ā-rangi star at Waitangi Stream. Waitangi Stream, can be seen again along the edges of Waitangi Park, flowing through the wetlands and out into the harbour. The stream used to flow from the Basin Lake, down Cambridge and Kent Terraces and out into the harbour. The stream was eventually piped and ran underneath the Terraces. In 2006, the stream was dug up around Waitangi Park, cleaned, and is now filtered as it travels through the plantings and out into the harbour.
Tawa Community Garden, Coronation Park
Tupu-ā-nuku has a special interest in our edible plants. This includes the natives pūhā (sowthistle), kawakawa (pepper tree), kōkihi (NZ spinach), and tī kōuka (cabbage tree). She has come to understand the importance of healthy soil. Tupu-ā-nuku encourages us to consider more carefully what we are putting into Papatūānuku (the earth).
Our Tupu-ā-nuku star is located at the Tawa Community Garden. This community garden was started in September of 2015 and lots of people have contributed to the garden over the years. The garden
brings people together to share knowledge and enjoy the health benefits of getting out and growing plants. The most important thing that the Garden grows is community connection. Pop down and check it out for yourself.
Magpie Lawn, Botanic Gardens
Tupu-ā-rangi has long looked out for the ngahere (forests), and he is deeply concerned by the collapse he is witnessing. Our native wildlife is being ravaged by introduced pests and predators, as are our ancient rākau (trees). Tupu-ā-rangi encourages us to take action to help to bring our forests back to life again.
Our Tupu-ā-rangi whetū can be found on the Magpie lawn at the Botanic Gardens. The Botanic gardens covers 25 Hectares of land and have been around for about 150 years! These gardens contain nooks and crannies that when you go exploring provide interesting and fun opportunities to engage with the environment. When visting this star at the Magpie lawn, enjoy the beautiful scenery and take some time yourself to consider what actions you can take to help bring our forests back to life, and look after our environment.
Ururangi (Merope) is close friends with te whānau puhi (the wind family) – including Hauraro (the north wind), Tonga (the south wind), Hauāuru (the west wind), and Marangai (the east wind). He encourages us to get to know this family well, embrace its strength and prepare for any challenges it creates.
Our Ururangi star can be found on Mount Kaukau, a place which certainly gets a lot of wind! Mount Kaukau is the third highest peak in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and used to be called Tarikāka which means ‘where the parrots rested’. In the first lockdown in 2020, usage increased from its usual 480 daily users to a whopping 600 daily users. This track has remained more popular than usual as a result.
From here you get amazing views across the city and on a clear day can see Mt Tapuwae-o-uenuku in the South Island.
Pōhutukawa (Sterope/Asterope) holds tight to our memories of treasured people who have passed on. She encourages us to take time to remember them, and to acknowledge their impact on our
Our Pōhutukawa star is at Karori Cemetery. This cemetery was established in 1891, when the innercity Bolton Street Cemetery became too small for the expanding population. It stretches over 35 hectares and is New Zealand's second-largest cemetery. The cemetery holds so many stories of those that have gone before us and is a truly beautiful place to walk around.
Ngā hau e whā o Paparārangi
Hiwa-i-te-rangi/Hiwa (Celaeno) is the youngest star. She is a wishing star, who helps us to recognise our hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the coming year. She encourages us to hold firm to our goals and seek out opportunities and see them realised.
Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi means People of the four winds in the Northern suburbs. This Papaka̅inga/marae was established to provide a place for people who live away from their homeground with the ability to connect to this whenua, and provide a sense of belonging. This is the youngest Marae in Te Whanganui-a-Tara; this space allows people to connect, and share hopes and aspirations for the future. When visting this whetū, stand at the end of the point overlooking the harbour and cast your hopes to the four winds, to be carried to Hiwa.