The Liberal Agenda: Matariki Review – An important moment in NZ culture


The Matariki coverage on TV this morning might just be the most important cultural moment in NZ history.

We rarely see the majesty of Māori culture so raw and dramatic.

The spiritual power of this poetry will touch us as a people in a way we’ve never experienced, this is a nation whose emotional range is stretched at the ANZAC Day Last Post.

To be exposed to Māori culture on mass media broadcasting like this, to have the drama played out against the stage of the dawn was a moment unlike any other and I believe will have a profound impact on New Zealand.

This celebration, part grief-part hope, this powerful theatre of primordial forces of nature speaks to a nation of lonely atheists desperate for meaning on these shaky Isles.

We didn’t realise how much we needed Matariki.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.


  1. I appreciate the sentiment Martyn, Maori culture is under appreciated and truly rich.
    I can’t help being cynical at the timing of this holiday though, in conjunction with media converting to pidgin and Maorification of everything government, this holiday feels like a softening up exercise for the co governance being forced on us unwanted.
    It’s highly political, never mind calls to not commercialize it – just look at the plethora of opinion articles pushing all sorts of barrows. Revisionism is the new thing.

  2. Interesting you say that Martyn, my partner sent out a text to her friends this morning and she got replies straight back for once, all positive about Matatirki, and some feeling a bit teary after watching the TV coverage.

    Despite all the failures, and successes, and incremental changes that few seem to know about, from this Govt. the Matariki public holiday will definitely be a significant legacy for decades to come. And it fits in nicely for a move to a Republic–why have a Queens Birthday when there is no more Queen?

    I live in the Far North and well used to Māori culture in daily life, but this is a new dawn and opportunity–I mean how much more do you want than the Cosmos itself?

      • +1 Gagarin. Save us from this new found spirituality. Any invocation to spirituality should be treated with total suspicion – e.g. this crap about the ‘sacred nature’ of the Treaty. Be assured, various interest groups are using this to push an agenda, and yet, softening for co-governance in accordance with the fictitious ‘principles’ of the Treaty, is part of it.

      • Each to their own, it is feel good stuff in the immediate sense, and does not build any more state houses, as Xmas Day and Easter holidays do not either.

        But in the long run Matariki will likely assist rapprochement between Māori, Pākehā and other Tauiwi rather than smash it as ACT want to, and as the natzos would if in Govt. with ACT.

    • The QE2 is an evil b**ch, but still slightly better than President of NZ John Key or President of NZ Joe Biden (by default due to the sycophantry of our disgusting, yank loving ruling class).

      God bless the veterans of the Battle of Manners Street.

  3. Look. If a politician is employed for only 159 days in a year by the Crown as a government employee/contractor at a minimum of $183k.

    Then a few more holidays throughout the year for everyone else is needed.

  4. Yep, I get it Matariki is nice and have learnt a lot in regards to this event, but did we really need/deserve another public holiday.
    Maybe drop Queens birthday or day after New Year

  5. Wow, Martyn, you, who doesn’t believe in sky fairies, are moved by the spirituallity of the poem. Maybe you should have been uplifted by the poem. And you, not believing in sky fairies must be an athesist – so you must be alone with all the other athesists looking for meaning – of what? And Jacinda states in one news headline that we are all united under one sky (through this holiday) – does that mean we were not united before? Nothing wrong with the acknowledgement of Matarik and the holidayi, but the spirituallity side and the celebration ceremony (sending wishes to stars and believing stars have influence over us with their power) needs to be seen and recognised by the proponents as ancient myths – though some might believe. By all means, carry on ancient tradition as do other peoples and religions, but don’t lecture as as they did in a Stuff article that if we didn’t respect every part of the Matariki festival – including respecting the stars – then we are lesser people.

    • Thomas. That “ we are all united “ proclamation by Ardern irked me as yet another patronising political lie, but it’ll look good in the overseas media. Next she’ll be telling us not to forget our ‘flu shots this winter.

      • indeed separation of religion and state is basic, and LINO supporters should be wary the acknowledgement that spirituality has any state role can lead to the say the abolition of abortion under a future govt

    • You read ‘Stuff’ and that stuff informs you to have an opinion? Really?? Stuff!?

      My advice is don’t. Don’t read it and do what you’ve admitted doing ever again. It’s not good for your mental well-being! Seriously!
      You might end up a statistic and vote gween or labour FFS!
      That’s what happens to ‘Stuff’ readers. They go all funny and transition metaphysically and start believing weird shit and run off with a complete bunch of strange people and then join a cult or the gween party!

      Don’t! Do it!

      Or if you feel all weird or uncomfortable.
      Seek help 0800DONTFUCKNDOITAGAIN!

  6. “Lonely atheist” 🙂 have you had a road to Damascus moment Martyn? You can now stop railing on Christians, including Chris Luxon.

    • I hope not. The Christian Taliban is the biggest threat to all that is good and decent. They want to outlaw LGBT’s, “immodest dress”, all moral vices, evolution being taught in the schools, birth control, abortion, and implement widespread social repression. THey can get stuffed.

  7. I am not really feeling it, although a midwinter celebration is good.

    I kind of feel about this like mother day and valentines . I not fond of people telling me how, what and when I have to celebrate. Ok I know birthdays and Christmas, but I grew up with them. No one is imposing it on me.

    But I am not completely against Matariki. Wonder how much it has cost us though?

    • Anker. A mid -winter celebration is very welcome in this cold threshold country. Christmases in Budapest – London – Vienna- are a different realm altogether from our silly damn barbecues in the sun. The winter solstice can be celebrated at many levels, but to hell with politicians telling us how to celebrate it. Not their business.

      “ If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

  8. I will take the holiday as i do Christmas, Easter and all the others and like the others will treat the spirituality and reverence with antipathy.
    Cultures with overt spirituality and ancient beliefs hold no intrest for me including my own ancestory. But if your into that sort of thing knock yourself out.
    Just dont expect me to buy into it and start speaking in tongues.
    Cue the outrage.

    • I’m not a religious person either, but I can still look at the Sistine Chapel and see beauty. I admire and stand with your clarity, but that doesn’t remove the beauty of the Matariki dawn festival.

    • Ironically the fact that some humans still believe in religion proves that as a species we are still evolving, and some of us have a long way still to go.

  9. Like a lot of holidays now the meaning of the holiday will pass and workers will just enjoy a long weekend…The media and the wishy washy will try to gay it up to the Māori side of things for a few years…whatever….but it’s a holiday…..enjoy your time with your family and friends…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.