Matariki Story Competition

Published on Thursday, 1 July 2021, 4:45 p.m. Print Article

Milly has entered the following story to a Matariki writing competition being run by Christchurch City LIbraries and Lingogo. We are really proud of her efforts and wanted to share her story with our community.
Once upon a time in Aotearoa there lived a woman called Matariki. Her most prized possessions were her six daughters - Waipunā-ā-rangi, Ururangi, Tupu-ā-rangi, Tupu-ā-nuku, Waitā and Waitī. Every night Matariki and her daughters would visit Tāne Māhuta and dance under a beautiful cloak of velvet stars. 
Everybody knew about Matariki and her dancing daughters and loved them. One fateful day, a new chief was selected, Kaioraora. He, unlike the rest of the tribe, was cold on the inside. He changed the rules - “Happiness is a disgrace” he declared. “Tineia kia mate ēmei tinkange tautauhea!” When Matariki heard this terrible news, she knew she had to act. 
That evening Matariki and her daughters gathered around the table. “Daughters,” she began, “we must act upon this evil chief.” She told her daughters how to stop Kaioraora. 
The next night, as the tribe lay down to sleep, Matariki and her daughters slipped from their beds and snuck to the clearing at the edge of Tāne Māhuta. First they sat silently in the clearing. Then Matariki rose and began to sing and dance. Each daughter then rose in turn from the mossy earth to join their mother. They grasped each other's hands, dancing and singing together, louder and louder. They were hoping to share with Kaioraora their happiness, to make him see that being joyful is better than hating. 
“How dare you disobey my rules” bellowed Kaioraora from the shadows. “Haeretia koutou, inaiānei! E whakapako ana”. Matariki fell to her knees, her plan had failed. “Please” she begged. But Kaioraora would not change his mind.
The next morning, the tribe gathered together to wish Matariki and her daughters farewell. With a heavy heart, Matariki led her daughters to find a new home. As the moon rose that evening they gathered to dance. Their grief overwhelmed them and their broken spirits floated up into the sky, forming beautiful sparkling stars. These stars shone brightly over the tribe, and Kaioraora. 
These stars scared Kaioraora. He knew they were a sign, a sign that showed him the wrongs he had made. For a week they shone brightly.
A year went by and still Kaioraora ruled with great force and cruelty. The night of Matariki’s banishment came, and with it the seven sparkling stars. Again Kaioraora was scared.
Eventually he died from fear of these stars. The tribe was free. They named the group of the stars, Matariki.