Maramataka in the Workplace Wānanga

Toi Tangata hosted the hugely popular Maramataka in the Workplace Wānanga in August at the Unitec marae. Maramataka is the traditional Māori lunar calendar which acts as a guide for reading the various phases of the moon and its influence on the natural environment.

The wānanga was held during Hotoke (winter) as it is the best time to whai whakaaro (create a vision), whakatikahia (review) and whakatakoto kaupapa (strategise). One of the main outcomes was for participants to learn how to tap into the Māori moon cycle (maramataka) to enhance their physical, emotional and spiritual health. Te taha tinana, hinengaro, me te wairua. During the wānanga participants learned how to use the Māori systems framework of maramataka Māori to greater enhance their productivity and work/life balance.

Facilitated by champions and practitioners of maramataka Māori, Rueben Taipari and Heeni Hoterene, participants were guided on how best to plan the next twelve months of business operations using maramataka Māori while considering the right actions to undertake at the right times. They were referred to Ngā Peka o te Tau (the seasons) and Ngā Wahanga o te Marama (energy phases of the moon).

In their home lives, Rueben and Heeni take a practical approach to ‘living by the maramataka’ with their children,  using it for planting and fishing on their ancestral lands in Ahipara. Over 20 years ago Rueben designed the unique colour coded system they now use as a guide for planning by the maramataka. The duo has now been delivering maramataka workshops for over 15 years, working with whanau, communities, educators, and the health and environment sectors. They are committed to mana Māori motuhake and view maramataka as a kaupapa that helps whanau to realign themselves with the natural cycles of Aotearoa, reclaiming their time, space and energy through actioning mātauranga Māori.

Toi Tangata plans to host further maramataka in early 2019.

The origins of maramataka

Maramataka first began as a Māori system of awareness of the natural environment and its potential abundance. Comprising thousands of years of observations and knowledge, maramataka is the science of the moon energies. Traditionally Māori tupuna (ancestors) used it to guide and improve their fishing, hunting and gardening practices.