Puanga Rising – activities for celebrating Māori New Year


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Did you know that not all iwi look to the Matariki constellation to mark the beginning of Māori New Year? Iwi in Taranaki, Whanganui, and parts of the Far North & Te Wai Pounamu all give preference to Puanga!

This resource includes activities that celebrate the arrival of this significant star – “Ko Puanga te pae ārahi i ngā tohu o te tau hou i te pae ururangi” – Puanga leads the celestial signs to herald the New Year…



  • A 1 metre high wall display panel (4 vertical A4 sheets joined end to end) depicting a hangi being opened and the smell drifting up to strengthen the newly risen stars
  • The panel includes a paragraph explaining how Puanga was traditionally welcomed (in the words of south Taranaki local Puhi Nuku)
  • Enlarge the wall panel sheets to A3 for an even larger display!
  • The wall display panel is designed to be surrounded by the children’s writing about Puanga (templates with different line widths and writing suggestions included



  • There are 2 mini readers included, both are cleverly folded from a single A4 sheet.
  • Enlarge the sheets to A3 to provide a larger mini booklet and allow more space for recording learning



  • This simple reader shares the ways in which children can celebrate Puanga’s arrival (colour, cut, fold & read!)
  • It contains simple illustrations for colouring and short sentences.



  • This mini booklet is full of facts about Puanga and provides opportunities for further research
  • e.g: “In other parts of the world, Puanga is called Rigel. Rigel is part of the Orion (the Hunter) constellation. Do some research to find out which star in the Orion constellation below is Puanga. Mark Puanga with a highlighter.
  • Did you know that the star Puanga (Rigel) is actually a blue super giant that dwarfs our sun in size? What does a blue super giant look like? Find out & colour the shape above to match….


Are you looking for other resources to support your teaching and learning around Matarki & the Māori new year? Click here to check out our full range!