Celebrating the abundance

Motueka has a strong reputation of being one of Aotearoa’s great food baskets, and it’s something the community is proud of. The soil beneath our feet in Motueka is unique; its rich nutrients and nourishment from the Motueka River makes our whenua (land) ideal for growing food crops. It’s something worth celebrating.

So we do! Motueka Kai Fest marks the beginning of the summer harvest, and brings not only Motueka’s gardeners together, but brings the whole community together to celebrate and enjoy the abundance of kai that grows in our rohe.

Last year’s Kai Fest was a great success, and the Trust got right behind it. Not only did the festival share the rich range of kai from home-based gardeners, commercial growers, and food producers in Motueka and surrounding areas, it also reflected on the first gardeners (our ancestors).

Members of our whānau opened the inaugural event through a welcome and karakia blessing ceremony. As part of the celebrations, tamariki from various kura and members of the community dressed up in costumes for the parade and pageant. The pageant was an opportunity for our whānau to share the kōrero of our atua (gods) through performance and costume.

We had many members of our whānau dress up as characters and atua related to each of the four elements, and perform to the wider community and communicate the importance of these elements and their relationship to how kai is produced. This year, Kai Fest will also host another pageant, where students from Motueka High School will perform for the audience.

We’re looking forward to enjoying another day of celebrating our land of kai, and getting involved with the community this April at Kai Fest 2018. If you want to learn more about the kai from our rohe, make sure you head along to Kai Fest, Sunday 8 April, at Decks Reserve from 10am-3pm.