Matariki is our Māori New Year, a special time in the Māori calendar to honour, to review, to reflect. A time to slow down, to change gear, to gain the insights from the last year to build on in the new.

Te reo Māori version

As we look at the way we live – and even the way we live with money – what can inspire us to look long term and make more sustainable choices?

Māori knowledge to the fore

Matariki is a time when mātauranga Māori, Māori knowledge, comes to the fore on the national stage with a prominence it usually has to struggle to achieve. Matariki takes us into te ao Māori, the Māori world, in wondrous ways – through astrology, ecology, strategic thinking and planning.

We acknowledge those who have passed, and understand that this is a time when their wairua, their spirits, transcend into stars, forever reminding us in their illumination in the night sky of their presence with us.

Many prominent experts make their knowledge freely available at this time, in the hope that we may all grow a little wiser and softer. Wiser in the ways of knowing about what is happening to our mother earth and softer in our caring guardianship of that knowledge.

Looking out a thousand years, Māori strategic planning has sustainability at its heart: living in integrity with Papatuanuku, mother earth.

Matariki is a taonga, a treasure

Sometimes life seems to be rushing us towards a screen-based future of technology and virtual realities. As time goes by and we are all swiping away, locked on our screens, there will likely be fewer species of flora and fauna living on a planet that we are systematically exhausting.

Will water still be freely available? Will we recognise the seasons as we currently do? Or is climate change creating a winterless world?

Man-made is not always an ecologically accredited trademark!

Matariki is a taonga, a star that guides us – allowing respite from the frenetic pace humanity is operating at. Matariki is a time to get over ourselves as a species and to take our place humbly as part of the living communities that together make up planet Earth.

Te Ara Ahunga Ora

The team behind Sorted is in the midst of renewal as an organisation this Matariki too! Having reviewed our vision and mission, we have just completed a rebranding exercise.

Next week we will launch our new Māori name and branding. From 1 July the Commission for Financial Capability will be known as Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission, a name speaking to the broad view of health and wellbeing, of which financial wellbeing is a part.

Moving forward our work will speak more clearly to the opportunities the Treaty of Waitangi creates – including working more authentically within te ao Māori. I guess you could say we have been ‘getting sorted’!


Dr Kathie Irwin (Ngāti Porou, Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu) is Kaihautū at Te Ara Ahunga Ora, where she upskills the Sorted team in te ao Māori and helps us grab the best of both worlds. She helps drive improvements in retirement outcomes for Māori, and imbues our work with te ao Māori so that we champion the Treaty of Waitangi, support diversity and inclusion, and implement Māori strategies to create positive change.

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