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Kai and arts combine for festival prequel

A cornucopia of food and performance will mark the start of the Tairawhiti Arts Festival on October 4.

As a prequel to Maui Putahi, the arts festival’s opening night event, the Kai Street Food Festival and Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival have partnered to offer locals and visitors a “kete-full” of food choices.

Kai Street Food Festival will be in Read’s Quay, walking distance from director/artist Teina Moetara’s performance-based work Maui Putahi. Held at Marina Park, and described as part performance, part ceremony and part interactive experience, Maui Putahi is a free event that will open the inaugural Tairawhiti Arts Festival.

“The central idea that underpins Maui Putahi is everyone has a creative voice which can manifest itself in a variety of ways,” says Moetara.

“For many that’s in the kitchen. The journey of creating and perfecting family favourites, for example, is very similar to the journey we take as performing artists.”

City Centre Vibrancy manager and Kai creator, Lana Davy says the street food festival is an opportunity for vendors to showcase their passions.

“Kai Street Food Festival-goers can expect a new range of interactions that celebrate the artistry and creation of kai and our passion for food.

“We’re expecting more than 40 food, beverage and sweet vendors with a diversity of kai experiences for the public to enjoy.”

The Kai Street Food Festival will run from 4pm-8pm on October 4, alongside Maui Putahi, which starts at 5.30pm.For Maui Putahi, Moetara has created a number of pop-up performances and surprises, and says Maui Putahi will celebrate diversity of language, form and culture.

FESTIVAL KAI: Hungry masses line up at the First Light Kai Easter Street Food Festival in April. A similar festival is to be held on Reads Quay on Friday, October 4. The festival will offer a range of food choices, while across the river director/artist Teina Moetara’s performance-based work Maui Putahi on Marina Park will open the inaugural Tairawhiti Arts Festival. File picture
Director/artist Teina Moetara. File picture