Matariki 2024 kai round up

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Around NZ, At Home, Opinion

The weather may be a bit grim but respite is on the way: Matariki is rolling over the horizon to reunite us with loved ones, to point us towards the future, and to feed us with the great bounty that comes from our nation’s whenua, awa, and moana. Still Aotearoa’s newest public holiday (the coalition’s National Middle-aged White Fella Day is still in the planning stages), Matariki is probably a work in progress for many of us when it comes to rituals and celebrations. We recommend watching the above clip of Dr Rangi Matamua for a brief taster of what Matariki means for Māori, and what it might come to mean for the nation as a whole.

Here at The Feed we believe that the best place to start with just about anything is the kai. So here’s a little round up of what’s going on around the country this Matariki weekend…

Starting off waaaay up north where Tohunga Tumau returns for the fourth year to the Duke of Marlborough in Kororareka. There will be with an all-star cast of Maori master chefs that includes the Hangi Master Rewi Spraggon, Duke of Marlborough Executive Chef Tama Salive, Charlottes Kitchen Head Chef Liam Tito-Salive, New Zealand MasterChef winners, Karena & Kasey Bird, and Joe McLeod, Presenter of Classical Maori Cuisine Concepts of New Zealand. The dinner will feature the very best of Māori modern cuisine, cultiure, and entertainment. There’ll be canapes followed by.a four course meal. Each course will be matched with a Northland or Maori produced wine.

Down to Tamaki Makaurau where, as you’d expect, there’s loads going on for Matariki. Beg, borrow, or steal a ticket for internationally renowned chef and famously nice man Peter Gordon’s Kai Māori Masterclass. Peter will be schooling a lucky few on how to cook such Māori classics as creamed pāua and fry bread, twice-cooked kūmara with kawakawa pesto, hāngī pork with watercress and pumpkin broth and marae pudding with poached fruit and custard. (You can listen Peter chatting to Vicki and Tash about New Zealand cuisine and the future of New Zealand’s food story here.)

Way down south now where Eat New Zealand and Ngāi Tahu whānau are putting on Feast Matariki 2024 from the 19th – 27th June. For Ngāi Tahu, Matariki was originally a way and place that people came together around food, celebrated abundance, feasted and traded excess. One of the features of these gatherings was a hakari or a stage upon which food was placed to emphasise abundance. With Tīrama Mai they will be recreating the stage at Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre in Ōtautahi / Christchurch. Tthere will be a series of kai feasts showcasing some of the brightest Māori food talent alongside rangatahi on their journey of food celebration. There will also be wānanga and storytelling about how the ingredients found their way to our plates. The hakari or stage will be the focus for events there including: The Shortest Hīkoi – Friday 21st June. Book Tickets here. Kai Hau Kai ‘Bring Something to the Table’ – Saturday 22nd June. Book Tickets here.The Future of Kai with Kahurangi Carter – Sunday 23rd June. Book Tickets here.Te Tiriti O Waitangi Workshop with Dr Hana O’Regan – Wednesday 26th June. Book Tickets here.Hakari | The Feast – Thursday 27th June. Book Tickets here.

If you happen to a) be in Queenstown and b) have an insane amount of money to burn (and let’s be real – a) often equals b)) the why not splurge on this Matariki feast at Rosewood. It even comes with some complimentary stargazing.

If you’re not in any of those place or don’t have a gazillion dollars to spend then there is almost certainly a local and significantly cheaper event near you. Like this event in Hamilton. Or this kai sharing event in Upper Hutt.

Or here’s a guide to celebrating Matariki at home. And here’s ten excellent Māori recipes that you and the whānau might like to try at home.

But whatever you do, and wherever you are, and whoever you’re with, do get involved in Matariki. It’s a celebration of Māori culture and of our agricultural past, present ,and future; the midwinter celebration that we so desperately need; and it’s an excuse to eat too much and lie around groaning.

Ngā mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori.

About the Author

David Wrigley

David is a writer and musician from Kemureti/ Cambridge. He has been published in Noble Rot, Nourish Magazine, Turbine|Kapohau, New Zealand Poetry Yearbook, and is currently working on his first novel. He has done his time in restaurants in Aotearoa and the UK. Oh, yes. He has done his time.

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