Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars which is visible in our night sky at a specific time of the year. In 2019, from 25 to 28 June, Matariki will re-appear in the dawn sky – signalling the start of the Māori New Year. It is a time to celebrate new life, to remember those who’ve passed and to plan for the future. And it’s a time to spend with whānau and friends – to enjoy kai (food), waiata (song), tākaro (games) and haka.
Our latest Newmarket street flags are now visible around the precinct in celebration of Matariki. Choosing to use the Maori description for the area,‘Te Ti Tutahi’ instead of Newmarket, Te Ti Tutahi means ‘Sacred Cabbage Tree Standing Alone’. The original cabbage tree stood at the corner of Mortimer Pass and Broadway. This tree was sacred to Māori and was a well-known landmark for those travelling between the Waitematā and Manukau harbours, and beyond. Sadly, Te Tī Tūtahi was cut down in 1908 as it was considered ‘a danger to children’ attending the local school. The Buckland family, headed by Alfred Buckland, a local businessman, farmer and auctioneer, lived nearby in Highwic House, rescued some of the shoots from the tree. These shoots were used to populate the trees on Lumsden Green many years later and were also included as part of the Teed Street upgrade in 2017.