Last weekend, Slow Food Auckland gathered to ascend Maungawhau / Mount Eden. Dane Tumahai (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) shared creation stories, talked to the significance of the Matariki stars, and identified native plants and their uses. The mountain was once a significant Māori pā, and the indentations of food storage pits and terraces where māra kai (food gardens) were located can still be seen. The crater was known as ‘the food bowl of Mataaho’ (the god of volcanic forces) ⛰️

Of course there was kai after! At @bluerosesandringham owners Robbie and Lenny serve up Māori and Pacific flavours in the form of delicious pies and more. (Chloe)Group Matariki 23Our Guide Dane Tumahai
“I am a 7th generation Ngati Whatua Orakei, a direct descendant of the Maori Chief, Apihai Te Kawau who gifted land to establish Auckland City.
I have my own Tourism company that delivers authentic cultural experiences of our past, present and future.
As a Cultural Edutainer, this experience is based on historical fact, stories of lived experience and handed down by my tupuna and can include accessing cultural sites of significance in Tamaki Makaurau.”

Group of photos Matariki 23


Blue Rose Cafe
Owned by Robbie & Lenny, Blue Rose is a boutique cafe and catering company nestled in suburban Sandringham, Auckland.
With Cook Island & Maori backgrounds, they take pride in home-made food infused with Pacific and Maori flavours.
“drop by for a pie or two — flaky goodness that encases fillings such as bacon bones and watercress (the boil-up pie), or corned beef, taro leaves, coconut cream, onion and chilli (the palusami pie).” Metro


Celebrating Matariki
The rise of Matariki in the winter skies above Aotearoa is an important time in the Māori calendar, as it signifies the start of the Māori new year.
For Māori, astronomy was interwoven into all facets of life. Experts would observe the night sky, charting star and planet movements, the relationship of the stars and planets to the moon and sun, while also noting what was happening on the whenua (land) and in the moana (ocean), lakes and awa (rivers). All of these celestial star beings were attributed qualities and named accordingly, and their stories were woven into the history of the people.
Historically, new year celebrations provided the opportunity for whānau to come together to acknowledge the year gone by, prepare and plan for the year ahead; to celebrate with kai, kōrero, ceremony and entertainment.
For a time, these celebrations were only acknowledged and celebrated by iwi, but at the beginning of the 21st century a cultural renaissance occurred, making knowledge of this special time of the year an important part of New Zealand’s history. Today, everyone in Aotearoa has the opportunity to celebrate the unique places we live in, show respect for the land we live on, and to share and grow together through traditions that continue each year, with the support of kaupapa like Matariki Festival.
Auckland Council