Celebrating Matariki: Kids speaking in te reo Māori to welcome every international traveller to NZ

11 July 2023

Ka whakamaanawa a Te Taunga Rerenga o Taamaki Makaurau i a Matariki hei te 14 oo Hurai, maa te whakapaaho atu i te iarere o te Taunga Rererangi, i eetahi koorero hei mihi ki ngaa kaieke waihoki hei whakamaarama ake i te hiranga o Matariki.

Auckland Airport will be celebrating Matariki on 14 July, with dedicated PA announcements throughout the international and domestic terminals, greeting and farewelling travellers in te reo Māori and explaining the significance of Matariki.

Auckland Airport Chief Executive Carrie Hurihanganui said Auckland Airport has a unique opportunity to educate people about Matariki traditions as they arrive in Taamaki Makaurau Auckland.

“The first thing travellers will hear when they land on Kiwi soil and disembark the plane, will be te reo Maaori, and meaningful messages of Matariki, over our PA system, voiced by two school children and Auckland Airport team members who speak te reo Maaori. Matariki is an important time for many of our Auckland Airport employees and we want to share this with our travellers,” she said.

The special Matariki PA messages are set to be heard by 52,000 pairs of taringa (ears) with a busy day expected at Auckland Airport on 14 July. More than 14,000 international travellers are expected to arrive, with 12,000 people expected to depart. The domestic terminal will also be busy with 13,000 arriving and 13,000 departing.

A sample of one of the PA announcements, greeting travellers at international arrivals says:

· Nau mai ki Aotearoa, tau mai ki Taamaki Makaurau. Taakina raa ko Puuanga e tooia nei a Matariki ki te pae. Maanawatia te waa, maanawatia te aatea, maanawatia ngaa tohu o te tau hou Māori. Tukua too manawa kia ngaa i te mauri o Matariki. Tukua too ngaakau kia piipiri atu ki te mahana o too ahi kaa. Tukua too ate kia ngiha anoo a mahara. Tukua ngaa hara ki tua, kia waatea ai too aatea ki mua. Maanawatia a Matariki.

· Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand. Today, we celebrate the rising of Matariki, the star cluster. For many Māori, it heralds the start of the New Year. As you step into Taamaki Makaurau, immerse yourself in the magic of Matariki. For many, Matariki is a time to rest, to reconnect with loved ones and reminisce about past times, to realign with the present and reset for the future. We wish you a bountiful year ahead. Maanawatia a Matariki.

International travellers at Auckland Airport will also continue to be welcomed by a karanga as they walk through the tomokanga (the Maaori carved entrance) upon arrival.

The PA announcements were recorded by a group of people, including two Auckland Airport employees who put their hands up to be involved: Gabriel Thompson – Duty Operations Manager and Mataio Masina – Deputy Crew Chief Operations.

They were also joined by Psalm-Aawhina Mahanga a 15-year-old student from nearby Manurewa High School, as well as seven-year-old Marlowe, a local school pupil.

“These PA recordings have the opportunity to be something we can come back to and refresh time and time again, as a way to mark special occasions. Our team members were proud to be a part of this and we look forward to seeing reactions from travellers as they come through the terminals,” said Ms Hurihanganui.


Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact:


Laura Platts

[email protected]

021 040 5859