Mum and daughter star


Grace Raynel’s moving poem about her late mum, her guiding light, made her the supreme winner of the Waikato District Libraries 2019 Matariki competition.

Grace, from Ngaruawahia, said the competition was fun to do.

“I’m really happy that my work [see below] was appreciated. I worked on it and am pleased it paid off.”

The Guiding Stars

‘Look at the stars, at the stars and see
Look at the stars and be free’

My mother told me this time after time,
When sad or angry, lost or lonely,
the shining stars is where she’d confide,
To look to for guidance,
the shining stars
Small, big, bright, dull,
Even invisible stars.

But especially those stars
Those seven stars that guide,
That watch, that protect,

Matariki and her daughters
The guiders in the night
The guiders of those lost,
Those who can’t find home

Then me
When I was filled with grief
The grief of loss, loneliness
The grief of losing a loved one
The grief of losing mum

Matariki gained an eighth star,
just a small one,
An invisible one –
But still –
The most precious star of all


Grace was the winner of the poem in the 16+ category as well as the overall supreme winner.

Matariki, the cluster of stars that herald the Maori New Year and a time of sharing and festivity

This is the seventh year the Matariki competition has been held, in celebration of Matariki (Maori New Year). People were asked to write a poem in either English or te reo Maori, or create a picture about what Matariki means to them.

The winners and place-getters are:
• Age 5-9 years:
Winner – Kellan Smith
Runner up – Riley Jackson de Boer
• Age 10-15 years:
Winner – Ocean Burke
Runner up: Luna De La Cruz
• Age 16+:
Winner – Grace Raynel
Runner up – Eden Wawatai
Matariki picture
• Age 5-9 years:
Winner: Remedy Upokomanu
Runner up: Ruby Assen
• Age 10-15 years:
Winner: Chloe Hopkins
Runner up: Helena Marie Jenkins
• Age 16+:
Winner: Te Oranga Herangi
Runner up – Bridget Flanagan

Each winner received a $60 gift voucher, while the runner up received a $30 gift voucher. The supreme award winner also received a $100 gift voucher.

Matariki is the Maori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades, which rises in late May or early June in the Eastern sky. For many, it heralds the start of a new year and is a time of sharing and festivity. It is often a time when people reflect on personal goals.

The winning poems and artwork will be displayed in all council libraries and offices.

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