Mānawatia a Matariki!
Matariki is about reflection, hope, connection to the environment, people, and health and wellbeing, and this picture is all about those things. The night sky is made from the leaves of kawakawa, an important rongoā Māori plant. The holes in the leaves (made by the kawakawa looper moth caterpillar) have white tree lucerne flowers (non-native, but a favourite food for kererū) shining through to form tiny stars. The nine stars of the Matariki cluster sit on pukira clam shells. The centre of each star is a manuka (cultivar) flower, and the points are made from silver fern fronds and yellow gorse flowers. Even though gorse is a weed, it also represents hope for the environment because it facilitates native forest regeneration and heals the earth. And if the earth is well, the people are well.