Kai, is the Maori word for food, and there is plenty of it at the Kawhia Traditional Maori Kai Festival. Traditional fare such as kumara (sweet potato), paua (abalone) fritters, and kaimoana (seafood) are served alongside modern food like watermelon filled with ice cream.
The seasons are reversed, so the February 2nd event occurs during New Zealand’s summer. In 2007, 10 000 visitors came to enjoy not only the kai, but musical bands, crafts, Waka parade, exhibitions and the harbor. A boat takes visitors out to sea explaining local history.
Kawhia Traditional Maori Food Festival, Omimiti Park, Kawhia, New Zealand; February 2, 2008 www.newzealand.com
This article first appeared in the Winter 2007/2008 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.