7 Oct 2011

Event director credits hapu with success of festival

7:17 pm on 7 October 2011

The event director for Auckland's largest Maori culture festival - Atamira - says he credits local hapu Ngati Whatua o Orakei for the success of the event, which has become increasingly popular.

Tamaki Makaurau is already in festive mode, with the hapu kicking off the 2011 festival at the ASB Showgrounds with a powhiri on Friday morning.

The event director, Alec Hawke, says the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Trust Board has spent a lot of time developing relationships over the years and, without their support, the festival would have not got to where it is today.

He says it has been fortunate to bring in many sponsors, has worked well with other local businesses, and partnered with government agencies, including Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development.

Mr Hawke says Atamira has been a central stage to bring together all of the positive aspects of Maori culture.

This year's event - Maori in the City 2011 - is presenting a mix of Maori culture, arts, performance, sport, food, fashion and film.

Mr Hawke says, with the Rugby World Cup in town, Atamira already has an attentive international audience keen to sample New Zealand's indigenous culture.

The free event runs until Sunday evening.