18 Feb 2015

Ngāi Tahu plans opening ceremony feast

9:21 am on 18 February 2015

Ngāi Tahu is busy gathering kai to feed the thousands of people attending the pōwhiri or opening ceremony for Te Matatini - the national Kapa Haka Festival being held in Christchurch.

The four day event will take place in North Hagley Park in two weeks' time.

The hākari (feast) is Ngāi Tahu's way of acknowledging those people who helped them during the 2011 earthquakes, said Rangimarie Parata-Takurua, deputy chair and project manager for the Waitaha Cultural Council supporting the event.

She said the best way for the iwi to say thank you to the North Island tribes who sheltered earthquake-affected whānau and raised money for them was to feed them all their "southern delicacies".

Ngāi Tahu Seafoods will be supplying a generous amount of kaimoana including tītī (muttonbird). Ngāi Tahu farms will be donating meat and vegetables which Ms Rangimarie-Takurua said would arrive in truckloads to feed manuhiri (visitors) from the day they arrived.

After the pōwhiri people will be able to buy traditional kai at the food stalls. No deep fried fast-food will be sold at the event in an attempt to provide more healthier meals, she said.