One event that will nourish both body and soul is Te Wai o Horotiu Art Hīkoi + He Reka! Contemporary Māori Menu (August 1, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki). Start with a walking tour (bookings essential) of the city’s Māori public artworks, many of them inspired by Waihorotiu, the stream that carved the valley we now call Queen St, once a vital waterway that provided fresh wai and sustenance to the first people of Tāmaki Makaurau. And once you’ve feasted your eyes, guests are invited to fill their puku with delicious contemporary Māori kai at Auckland Art Gallery with menus designed by Hāngi Master Rewi Spraggon and Masterchef winners Karena and Kasey Bird with dishes set to include hāngi pie, steaming mussels and slow-cooked pork belly “He Reka.”
Combining feasting, story-telling and theatre, Takurua - Battle of the Brothers (July 16, 17, 23 & 24, 7pm) is an evening of dinner theatre, inspired by Pacific hospitality and performance traditions. Relish a five-course banquet and marvel at masterful displays of Māori martial arts and Pasifika contemporary dance, an evening that draws inspiration from ancient Māori hākari and Pacific Island feasting rituals.
Join Riki Bennett from Our Urban Forage, aka Mahinga Kai, and start your Winter Forage (Saturday, July 31, 9am-2pm, $95) with a guided city walk where you’ll hunt for a range of edible plants, leaves and berries, proof that food doesn’t have to be bought at the supermarket. Take your discoveries back to the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, where Riki will talk about local edible plants and trees as well as Māori food gathering traditions and culture before serving up a delicious gourmet luncheon paired with local Auckland wines.
Further afield, the shining gem in Te Hana’s cultural crown, Te Hana Te Ao Marama, will be hosting a delicious kaimoana festival, Taniwha, Kaitiakitanga and Kaipara Kaimoana (Saturday 31 July). Experience a traditional Marae pōwhiri welcome, Māori village tour, kapa haka, waiata and cultural exchange, and in the marae’s wharekai a range of delicious kaimoana will be served. With a focus on local stories and local food sourced from the nearby Kaipara Harbour, manuhiri will hear korero about the Southern Hemisphere’s largest harbour and its importance as a seafood basket that must be protected if it’s to flourish.
NUKU is a movement made by and for Indigenous women - ma hine, mo hine, kia hine!
Following sold out events in 2019 and 2020, NUKU Live is back for Elemental AKL 2021 with a brand-new format - the NUKU 'Atua Series'. Celebrating Atua Wāhine (female Māori gods), there are three events over three days where Indigenous knowledge and practices, specifically for wāhine, will be shared. The events are inspired by Papatuanuku, Hine-Te-Iwaiwa and Hinemoana.