Synchronised planning

When is the best time, what is coming up?

As the Earth and moon are constantly revolving around the sun making night and day, months and seasons, it follows that the local lunar calendar makes the best account of the changes in nature for that region. Maramataka is an account of the effects of the moon and sun on the earth describing times for various events and activities. It also describes the nature of rāhui, or times when certain things are out of bounds and best left alone. What follows is a Whangaroa based calendar passed down in the Ngāti miro whānau-hapū tradition. Unlike the common Gregorian calendar, Maramataka is able to predict natures events. For example, at every new moon (WHIRO), and full moon the tide is full in Whangaroa harbour early morning. At Tamatea Io (1st quarter), and Tangaroa a Mua (3rd quarter) it is full just after midday. Names of the month through the year describe events and activities through the seasons, while names for the nights and days of the month tell about events and activities throughout any given month. Studying and planning our activities around these events is an act of Kaitiakitanga.

Pipiri a Tahi / Hōngongoi

Things to notice in the taiao in July

Preparing for Winter

Things to notice in the taiao at this time of the year


The koukou (morepork) carefully watches and listens to the subtle changes happening in their environment. Hunting while flying by night in the ngahere means synchronising every movement with the demands of an ever changing space. This requires a high level of thinking and strategic planning which is why the koukou is thought to be a wise bird. This is also what is meant by Maramataka — planning and synchronising our movements with what is happening in our environment.