Matariki a new framework for the future

Twenty years after introducing “Te Pae Mahutonga” as a framework for health promotion in New Zealand at an HPF  conference in 1999, Sir Mason Durie introduced another star-based framework to guide health promotion for Maori and other Indigenous peoples. 

Sir Mason introduced “Matariki” at the 23rd World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua, on April 11, 2019.

“Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades (or Subaru in Japan). It rises in mid-winter and for many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year, a time for remembering the dead, celebrating new life and planting new crops,” he said. "The focus on stars reminds us that we are part of an unbounded universe.”

Based on the eight main stars in the cluster, he named eight Matariki dimensions of health: Mana Tangata -Human dignity,  Whānau Ora – Families,  Hapori – Communities, Ranginui – The sky,  Papatuanuku- The land,  Nga Wai – Rivers and oceans, Ngahere – The forests, and Te Ao Tuturu – Rhythms of nature.

“Matariki provides a health promotion agenda for Māori and Indigenous peoples that endorse Indigenous rights, keep our skies clean and fresh, protect our lands, preserve our native forests, enable whānau and families to flourish, support community initiatives, safeguard our rivers and ocean, and restore nature’s balance, ” said Sir Mason.

He also pointed out that when combined, the six stars of Te Pae Mahutonga and the eight stars of Matariki can continue to guide health promotion for Indigenous peoples into the future.



(* This article was first published on April 11, 2019)