Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae hosts first ever Te Ahi Kōmau – Food, Fire, Festival

Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae’s first ever Te Ahi Kōmau – Food, Fire, Festival will celebrate South Auckland’s volcanic past, its legacy of rich soils and amazing produce, as part of Auckland’s Elemental AKL festival in October.

Te Ahi Kōmau kicks-off Friday 30 October at 5.30pm with delicious hangi, early access to the Marae Market of entrepreneurs and a light show.

Saturday, from 5.30pm-10pm, will be an evening of fun featuring entertainment and fire-focused food including hāngi, umu, mataahi (spit), auahi (smoked) and flame-grilled delicacies.

Marae Kaiwhakahaere Matua Lionel Hotene welcomes food lovers to Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae to celebrate the best of indigenous food.

“Te Ahi Kōmau is a celebration of polynesian culture and we’re going to showcase our amazing kai and demonstrate how we use the element of fire to cook it.”

“Also, given the Covid-19 environment we’re operating in, this is a great opportunity for food lovers to learn and understand how local marae grow, prepare and distribute nutritious kai for good health and wellbeing for the wider South Auckland community.”

The theme for Te Ahi Kōmau is inspired by the Hangi or Umu, a traditional Polynesian way of cooking food in the ground using hot rocks to produce steam.

Healthy Families South Auckland has worked alongside Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae to bring Indigenous Māori food systems to the forefront of the community by creating partnerships that see locals like Lionel recognised and celebrated.

Kaiārahi Māori, Mason Ngawhika with vegies from Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae's garden.

Kaiārahi Māori, Mason Ngawhika says the South Auckland region was once the food bowl of Auckland. 

“It’s rich volcanic soils and sub-tropical climates and two large harbours meant the area was once bursting with kai. We need to return to some semblance of a natural food system, of growing kai, preparing kai and cooking kai.” 

Elemental AKL festival, run by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), aims to showcase the diverse and unique food and culture of Tāmaki Makaurau. 

“We are delighted that Te Ahi Kōmau is part of Elemental AKL as it offers a special opportunity to experience and connect with Auckland’s Polynesian food, culture and history in a meaningful way; all of which forms an important part of Auckland’s unique food story,” says ATEED General Manager Destination Steve Armitage.

Te Ahi Kōmau is a whanau-friendly event delivered in partnership with Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae, ATEED, Panuku, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board & Healthy Families South Auckland.

What you can expect to experience:

  • Hand-picked vendors offering delicious indigenous kai
  • Polynesian inspired arts & crafts, wellbeing and homeware products
  • Live entertainment: kapa haka & waiata
  • A rare look into traditional cooking practices like the Hangi or Umu. 

Te Ahi Kōmau will only take place within the Government’s Alert Level guidelines. For further updates or announcements, please follow our Facebook event page.