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Takina Puanga

Ko Puanga kei runga

Ko Puanga e Rangi

Tākina mai te ara o Puanganui-o-te-rangi

Tākina ngā pou o te tau

Ki te whai ao, ki te ao mārama

As Puanga rises

Let Puanga elevate us

Let Puanga be noted in the heavens

Let us recite the great celestial path of Puanga

Let us recite the ceremonies throughout the year

With clarity and intention

Nau mai ki te whārangi o Puanganui o te Rangi. Nō Te Whare Tūranga Kōrero o Puanganui-o-te-rangi. Arā, nō ngā iwi o Taranaki, Whanganui me Rangitīkei hēnei ka tū kōrero.

o te Rangi

Puanganui Star Logo
Puanganui toi Māori texture

Every year as autumn draws to a close, Māori look to the skies to mark the end of one year and the beginning of the next. For many iwi, these events are linked to the appearance of the star cluster Matariki. For others, it is another star that marks the passage of time and provides insights into the months to come. That star is Puanga.

Photogrph of th night sky filled with stas

Puanga – the great star of the heavens


In the rohe of Te Taiuru, Puanga plays a central role in our new year narratives. The term Puanganui-o-te-rangi refers to Puanga and its affiliate stars – Puanga Hori and Whakaahu – and their significance over a period of approximately four months, from the last month of autumn until the beginning of spring.


Puanganui-o-te-rangi comprises three stars. Puanga, or Rigel, is the fifth brightest star in the sky, and is known to some iwi as Puangarua. While it is visible throughout the year, Puanga becomes especially prominent in the evening sky towards the end of autumn and in the predawn sky during the first month of the new year.


The second star is Puanga Hori, or Procyon. It rises in the second month of the year and is below Takurua. The final star is Whakaahu, or Castor, which pairs up with Puanga in the third month to indicate productivity in spring.

Photograph of the night sky. Puanga sitting above tautoru.

Puanga FAQs


  • What is Puanga?
    Puanga is the Māori name for the star Rigel, which is part of the Orion constellation. A number of west coast iwi/hapū (ie: Taranaki, Whanganui, Rangitīkei and others) use as their marker for the new year.
  • How do I find Puanga?
    Puanga, or Rigel, is the fifth brightest star in the sky, and is known to some iwi as Puanganui and by northern iwi as Puangarua. To find Puanga in the sky, look for the three stars of Tautoru (Orion’s Belt, or the Pot). Above this constellation is a single bright star – Puanga.
  • What is the difference between Matariki and Puanga?
    The key difference is that people, or iwi, on the East Coast of Aotearoa refer to Matariki. Whereas iwi on the West Coast are more likely to look to Puanga to give them a better read on the weather and other environmental outcomes for the year.
  • When can I see Puanga?
    You can see Puanga at any time of the year. It doesn’t disappear like Matariki. Puanga is significant for iwi of Te Taiuru at the end of autumn in the evening sky and in the predawn sky in the first month of the new year.
  • How can I learn more?
    Visit our pages on the significance of Puanga, Puanga and food and Puanga and customs to find out more about Puanga.
Image of stars in the night sky. Puanga constellation above toutoru.



Whakapā mai

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All about


This website shares kōrero tuku iho (traditional stories) about Puanga from the perspective of Te Taiuru – the iwi of Taranaki, Whanganui and Rangitīkei. We have given our collective narratives the name Te Whare Tūranga Kōrero o Puanganui-o-te-rangi, and this website shares just a taste of the rich and vibrant kōrero.


As we researched the story of Puanga, we discovered many common threads within the narratives of the iwi of Te Taiuru, as well as several distinctions. All of these weave together to form the tapestry of who we are. When we visualise Te Whare Tūranga Kōrero o Puanganui-o-te-rangi, we see our shared stories become the tāhūhū, the ridge pole that anchors the roof of our whare, while the different elements become heke, the rafters that span its width.

Puanganui toi Māori texture
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