Research has also found that exposure to other people’s tobacco smoke (second-hand smoke) causes between 174 and 490 deaths in New Zealand every year.
Each winter the stars of Matariki and Puanga signal the end of one year in Aotearoa and the beginning of the next. Traditionally Māori have recognised the rise of Matariki as a time to celebrate and prepare for the indigenous New Year.
Matariki is celebrated at different times by different tribes. For some, feasts are held when it is first seen. For others, it is the full moon after it rises that is celebrated and for others, celebrations are centred on the dawn of the next new moon.
Throughout Matariki we learn about our history, our family and our culture. Just as Matariki is about the celebration of language, spirit and people, so too is Auahi Kore. Auahi Kore focuses on developing partnerships and presenting the Auahi Kore messages in an appropriate way that is consistent with Māori norms, values and beliefs and inclusive of significant events such as Matariki.
Matariki is a small cluster of tiny stars also known as the Pleiades. The Matariki constellation twinkles on and off in such a way that one second you'll see them, and another they'll be gone. There are two translations for Matariki - mata riki, tiny eyes; and mata ariki, eyes of god.
Towards the end of May each year, Matariki rises on the North East horizon on the same spot as the rising sun, around half an hour before dawn. This signals the beginning of our Matariki celebrations. The New Year celebrations are held on the sighting of the next new moon.
As the year moves from autumn towards its shortest winter day, the sunrise moves north along the eastern horizon. When the sunrise reaches Matariki, it turns around and starts moving south again.
This effect can be seen everywhere on the planet and makes the Matariki stars famous worldwide. In Greece, several important temples face straight towards Matariki. In Japan the world rally car Subaru is named after the Matariki stars.
The Matariki constellation is also well known through out the Pacific. It is a key navigation beacon for ocean voyagers, as well as an important signal for seasonal celebration.