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Connecting with Puanga/Puaka

A set of fun and mindful activities that support Puanga/Puaka learning

A little background...

Did you know that Matariki is not visible to everyone in Aotearoa because it sits so low on the horizon. Instead, some iwi celebrate Puanga (Puaka - Ngāi Tahu). Puanga rises higher in the sky than Matariki, making it easier to see for those in Whanganui, Taranaki, parts of the far north, and parts of Te Waipounamu (South Island).  

Puanga is a single whetū, rising in the sky separately to the Matariki cluster. Traditionally, it signalled the end of the year and the arrival of the colder months. This was a time to prepare for winter by gathering and storing kai, making clothes, planting trees, and tending to gardens. After this busyness, Whanau took the opportunity to rest a little, reflect on the year, and enjoy other pursuits such as carving and weaving. This was the time to nurture themselves and others, reset, and restore energy levels. Kererū were a popular choice at Puanga celebrations? This is because they would feast upon the abundance of miro and tawa berries present at that time of year, making them fat and appealing. Unfortunately, the berries would ferment in the stomach of the kererū and they became drunk, making them easier to catch. Some would even fall out of the trees!

Our ideas...

Puanga/Puaka wishes

As tamariki work together to colour their whetū and build a night-sky wall display ask tamariki to reflect on the past and consider their wishes, hopes, and aspirations for the future. head to Puanga/Puaka wishes for the printout and full activity.

Whetū scratch art!

Try some whetū scratch art! This activity takes you through the steps of creating some really cool and easy night-time whetū scratch art! Tamariki can create scratch art showcasing the night sky with placing emphasis on Puaka/Puanga at the centre. Check out our scratch art activity here


Kererū coloring

We know that at this time of year the beautiful kererū are more apparent, this is because they love flying down low to feast on the miro and tawa berries. While tamariki complete this colouring encourage them to reflect on the prior year and the learning they have done, remind them to think about what their goals for the future may be. Check out our kererū coloring sheet here

Whānau engagement

Encourage tamaiki to share their Puanga/Puaka learning with whānau. We know that when we share our learnings with someone else this improves our understanding.

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