Hine Raumati is front and centre of this year’s Kāeo Hineraumati Christmas Parade, but who exactly is she and how might we celebrate her?  

Here’s an introduction into ngā kaupeka o Hine Raumati (the different phases of Hine Raumati), and some fun ways to learn and celebrate Hine Raumati this summer. 

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(Images shared with permission from Teacher Talk; Illustrations by Xoe Hall)

Kiaora, I'm Hine Raumati, the summer maiden and atua Māori of summer.

I am present in the warmer months; I live here on the land (whenua) and help all the yummy foods to grow.

I'm married to Tamanuiterā, the atua of the sun. From about September until around April next year is the time when Hine Takurua (the winter maiden) moves away from Tamanuiterā, and I visit.

During our time together, there are seven phases known as ngā kaupeka o Hine Raumati.

 The seven phases are: 

1. Matiti Kura 

This is the first phase of Hine Raumati and it starts when you hear the pīpīwharauroa (shining cuckoo) sing. Keep your ears open and listen for their call. You might also start to see the bright red berries of the kahikatea or totara ripening. If you’re near the awa (river), watch out for the shimmering whitebait that start to run at this time. 

 2. Matiti Hana

This second phase is recognisable when the puawananga or puareinga flowers (clematis) turn the top canopy of the forest a brilliant white. You’ll notice a change in temperature and tui are everywhere. This is a great time to be in the māra (garden) and to start planting.

3. Matiti Muramura (The parade will likely happen during this phase)

This phase starts when the star Rehua rises directly into the sun. During this phase you will notice the canopy turns from white to red. This is when the rātā and the older pohutukawa start to flower. It's a good time to go and get kina too.

4. Matiti Kaiwai

During this phase, the ground gets really dry and starts to open up as it thirsts for water – Te kata o te whenua. A good reminder to be mindful of our water use.

5. Matiti Raurehu

This phase is the most difficult to detect but usually occurs in early February, when white dust-like substances on the lawn resembles frost.

6. Matiti Rautapata

This sixth phase is easily identifiable when you look at the ground as all the seed pods burst and fall (tapata) onto the dry leaf bed below.

7. Matiti Rauangina

This is the last phase of summer and is very easy to identify by the leaves that swing to and fro as they fall from the trees. This rhythmic dance is known as te angina or the free fall.

Now let's have some more fun and learn about ways to celebrate Hine Raumati!

Hononga – connect to te taiao. That means we can go outside and connect with nature. Feel the warm sun on your skin and listen to the birds sing.

Tiaki – care for each other. We should always be kind and look out for our friends and family. Summer is a great time to show we care.

Pūrākau – share stories. We can tell stories about fun summer adventures or learn about our Māori traditions and legends.

Auahatanga – get creative. Use your imagination to make art, write a song, or even create your own haka.

Pito mata – potential. This is a special time to dream big and think about exciting things we want to do in the future. We can plant the seeds of our ideas and watch them grow, just like the plants in the summer.

Kapa haka. Hine Raumati has a son named Tānerore, and he's in charge of haka. Now’s the time to watch your favourite rōpū (group) or learn a new waiata.

What does celebrating summer mean for you and your whānau? How might you celebrate across each phase of Hine Raumati?

Let’s enjoy the warm days of summer and have lots of fun while learning about me, Hine Raumati!