For thousands of years here in the South Pacific, we’ve been celebrating the winter months (Pipiri) by drawing close and feasting. For Māori it was a time to give thanks for the food of our amazing country Aotearoa/New Zealand. This time was signalled by the rise of the Matariki (Pleadies) constellation and these stars represented the water, earth, ocean, air and the bounty that came from them. It was a time for renewal, the end of one growing year and the promise of a new one ahead.
Feast Matariki seeks to re-emerge these stories by creating our nation’s first (modern-day) national food celebration. Throughout the country people will be taking the time to come together and share food, no matter what their heritage or background. It’s a moment to reconnect with where our food comes from and to recognise the truly incredible ingredients we grow, catch and make here. It’s also a time to acknowledge the manaakitanga or hospitality that is an intrinsic part of who we are as kiwis.
In 2018 the Wellington City Council delivered a city-wide activation for Matariki with the iconic sky show fireworks display, waterfront and food-related activities.
The Wellington Culinary Events Trust (WCET) is focused on making Wellington one of the world’s great food cities, and our history and stories are key to achieving this goal. We do this through key events including Visa Wellington On a Plate, Beervana and Highball.
This year the WCET in partnership with the Wellington City Council, and alongside Eat New Zealand, are running a series of culinary events that aim to promote the importance of our region as Matariki becomes more recognised and celebrated nationally.