Spark brings the stories of Māori New Year to NZ with launch of 0800 MATARIKI via Colenso BBDO

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Spark brings the stories of Māori New Year to NZ with launch of 0800 MATARIKI via Colenso BBDO

Spark, working with Colenso BBDO, is bringing stories of Matariki to the entire country this year by launching 0800 MATARIKI, which offers nine enchanting stories behind each star in the cluster in both Te Reo Māori and English. The campaign has been a collaboration with University of Waikato professor Dr Rangi Matamua and TV and radio presenter Stacey Morrison.


This is the latest initiative from Spark designed to help preserve Māori oral traditions and archive stories, complementing Kupu, a platform that translates images into Te Reo Māori.


The 0800 MATARIKI campaign features nine stories, one for each star in the constellation, voiced by four prominent New Zealand orators – Rangi Matamua, Stacey Morrison, Te Karere host, Scotty Morrison, and tikanga expert, Rhonda Tibble.

Each of the stories was recorded with guidance from Matamua and were inspired by his book, Matariki: The star of the year, which is based on the Matariki stories from his ancestry of respected Māori Astronomers.

Rangi has spent the past 20 years researching Matariki and is passionate about helping to reconnect people with their environment through education and story-telling.

Says Matamua: “This is a fantastic idea because from a cultural perspective, there is a completely different level of connection and understanding when you hear someone’s voice and all of the other elements that come with that.”

Says Lisa Paraku, head of Māori strategy, Spark: “For centuries, Māori have passed down stories of Matariki by oral traditions to future generations from within their marae, but now technology can help us to share this significant part of Māori culture with more New Zealanders.”

Says Mike Davison, creative director, Colenso BBDO: “Using tech to help people recognise and support Māori culture is an amazing role for a company like Spark to play. It’s great to see more brave work like this from one of New Zealand’s biggest companies.”

To listen to the stories, call 0800 MATARIKI from a mobile or landline, free of charge, or search 0800MATARIKI here on Spotify.

Client: Spark
Hannah Bay, Brand Lead Partner
Caitlin Hayns, Brand Partner – Social
Lisa Paraku, Māori Strategy Lead
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Media Agency: PHD Auckland
Director of Photography: Riki Reinfield
Sound Design: Franklin Road
Project Partners: Dr Rangi Matamua
Stacey and Scott Morrison, and family
Rhonda Tibble