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Matariki is the Māori New Year. It’s a time to take stock of the year that has passed, plan for the future and to be thankful for what we have. Well known whakataukī (proverb) ‘E hoki ki ō maunga, kia purea koe e ngā hau o Tāwhirimātea’ encourages people to refresh themselves by returning home: ‘Return to your mountains that you may be cleansed by the winds of Tāwhirimātea.’ Tāwhirimātea is the father of the four winds. Te Hau Rāwhiti follows the path of Tama-nui-te-rā (the Sun) as it travels across the sky. It was the hero, Māui, who followed Tama-nui-te-rā (Sun) and captured and slowed him down, explaining why the days of winter are shorter than those of summer. Te Hau Tonga brings rain, chill and cold weather to these islands. Some iwi say, ‘He taonga te makariri – the cold is a gift.’ It is the cold wind that forces us inside, to come together, closer to the home fire, to keep warm. Te Hau ā Uru is the prevailing wind here in Aotearoa New Zealand. The rains that the westerly brings to the West Coast (Te Taipoutini) of Te Waipounamu (the South Island) and to the western side of Te Ika a Māui (the North Island) create a lush, wet landscape. Te Hau Raki is the warm wind that blows from Te Hiku o Te Ika (the Tail of the Fish), the Māori name for Northland. Follow the tail to the end, to Te Reinga, to where two seas meet and mark the pathway of the spirits to Hawaiki, the spiritual homeland of Māori.