Waiti

korokoro-softened.jpg

The korokoro is an eel-like fish that has a sucker mouth with horny teeth and a rasping tongue. It was a highly valued food of Māori, that was harvested at the beginning of the Māori new year. It leaves the ocean during winter and early spring, migrating up freshwater streams to spawn.

Wai means water in Te Reo, and Waiti is the star that is connected to fresh water and all the creatures that live in rivers, streams and lakes. Especially the korokoro.

Waiti also means to be sweet or melodious. “He reo waiti” is applied when admiring a person with a melodious voice.


The whole class can share their melodious voice in recognition of the star Waiti, as we all sing the beautiful waiata Ngā Tamariki O Matariki.

Ngā Tamariki o Matariki
Waitī, Waitā, Waipunarangi,
Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Ururangi e
Koinei ngā tamariki o Matariki
(These are the children of Matariki)
Ngā whetū e pīataata i te rangi e
(The bright stars that shine in the sky)
Ngā whetū e pīataata i te rangi e
(The bright stars that shine in the sky)

Celebrate Matariki - sing this beautiful waiata (song), Ngā Tamariki O Matariki, with your tamariki (children). Matariki (the Pleiades star cluster) rises in the pre-dawn sky during the darkest days of winter - between late May and early June. For many Māori, it signals the beginning of the Māori New Year. This video courtesy of The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.