Celebrating Matariki in the Workplace

Ideas and Suggestions

Matariki, the Māori New Year, is a time of celebration, reflection, and new beginnings. It is a time to acknowledge the past, plan for the future, and come together as a community. While Matariki has traditionally been celebrated within whānau (family) and hapū (sub-tribes), it is increasingly being recognized and celebrated in the workplace. In this blog post, we will explore some ideas and suggestions for celebrating Matariki in the workplace.

  1. Understanding the significance of Matariki Before planning any Matariki celebrations in the workplace, it is important to understand the significance of the occasion. Matariki is a time to celebrate the Māori New Year, which begins with the appearance of the Matariki star cluster in the sky. It is a time to acknowledge the past, plan for the future, and come together as a community. Understanding the cultural significance of Matariki will help to ensure that any workplace celebrations are respectful and appropriate.
  2. Decorate the workplace One way to celebrate Matariki in the workplace is to decorate the office or workspace with Matariki-themed decorations. This could include hanging stars or lanterns, displaying traditional Māori art or carvings, or incorporating Matariki colors (black, white, and red) into the decor. Decorations can help to create a festive atmosphere and show respect for Māori culture.
  3. Share Matariki stories and history Matariki is rich in stories and history, and sharing these with colleagues can be a great way to celebrate the occasion. This could involve reading stories or myths about Matariki, sharing the history of the Māori New Year, or inviting a guest speaker to talk about Matariki and its significance in Māori culture. Sharing stories and history can help to educate colleagues about Matariki and promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of Māori culture.
  4. Organize a Matariki-themed potluck Food is an important part of Māori culture, and organizing a Matariki-themed potluck can be a great way to celebrate in the workplace. This could involve asking colleagues to bring in dishes that are traditionally associated with Matariki, such as kumara (sweet potato), puha (sow thistle), or rewena (fermented bread). A potluck can also provide an opportunity to share recipes and learn about traditional Māori cuisine.
  5. Hold a Matariki-themed activity or game Another way to celebrate Matariki in the workplace is to organize a Matariki-themed activity or game. This could include creating Matariki-inspired arts and crafts, playing a traditional Māori game such as poi or stick games, or organizing a Matariki quiz or scavenger hunt. Activities and games can be a fun and interactive way to celebrate Matariki and learn more about Māori culture.
  6. Attend a Matariki event There are many Matariki events held throughout New Zealand, and attending one of these events can be a great way to celebrate in the workplace. This could involve attending a Matariki festival, a Matariki-themed exhibition, or a Matariki-themed performance or concert. Attending an event can provide an opportunity to learn about Māori culture and connect with the wider community.
  7. Acknowledge achievements and plan for the future Finally, Matariki is a time to acknowledge achievements and plan for the future. In the workplace, this could involve celebrating the achievements of colleagues and setting goals and plans for the coming year. Acknowledging achievements and planning for the future can help to create a positive and motivated workplace culture.

In conclusion, celebrating Matariki in the workplace is a great way to recognize and appreciate Māori culture and its significance in New Zealand. By incorporating Matariki traditions and practices into the workplace, organizations can create a sense of belonging, respect, and understanding among their employees. From hosting cultural events and feasts to incorporating Māori art and design, there are many ways to celebrate Matariki in the workplace. It is important to remember that these celebrations should be done in a respectful and authentic way, with input and guidance from Māori advisors and stakeholders. Overall, by recognizing and honoring Matariki in the workplace, organizations can contribute to a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture.

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