Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival welcomes all cultures

updated By Tepara Koti

Peoples of all cultures flocked to The Cloud on Queen's Wharf in Auckland City today for the inaugural Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival, where an array of Māori displays were on offer to entertain, educate and inspire the masses.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei officially launched the festival yesterday and a gala dinner was hosted last night at The Cloud.

This morning, a mihi whakatau (welcome) was conducted to start the day of events and workshops, including the Graf Art Towers, Māori rongoā wānanga and traditional healing, live carving and tā moko demonstrations, raranga, kī-o-rahi and more.

A popular crowd-pleaser today was Te Waka Huia's performance where they revived some of their classics and had many in the crowd singing along.  They will also be performing tomorrow (Sunday) from 1pm-2pm.

For the kai connoisseurs, the Te Kai Māori culinary experience hosted at the rear end of The Cloud was a hit!  Spectators were "chomping at the bit" to have the chance to watch live demonstrations from renowned Māori chefs like Grant Kitchen.

In true celebration of the City of Sails, the unique waka sailing experiences and inter-tribal waka races definitely drew in the crowds of curious Māori and non-Māori alike.

Activities continue until the festival comes to a close on Monday afternoon.