The recent Food, Fire Festival – Te Ahi Kōmau hosted by Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae with support from Healthy Families South Auckland celebrated South Auckland’s fiery volcanic past as well as its legacy of rich soils and amazing produce, and Healthy Families Hutt Valley was there to experience it all.

Our Manager, Hayley Buchan and Lead Systems Innovator Eddie Edmonds immersed themselves in the festival taking in the variety of Polynesian foods, Polynesian inspired arts and crafts marae market as well as the spectacular light show about the ‘Origins of Fire’ from a Māori perspective.

“Where in the world would you see a hāngi, an umu and a puaka tunu being cooked at the same time! Food brings people together and this festival is a great reflection of this diverse community coming together”, says Eddie.

Kapa haka and beautiful waiata along with Polynesian fire dancers and performances brought the festival to life and the event also provided a rare look into traditional cooking practices like the hāngi, umu and puaka tunu. Most impressively the whole event and marae is based around parakore (zero waste).

“Māngere’s first-ever Te Ahi Kōmau – Food, Fire, Festival was a great example of local leadership and organisations working together so the community could experience a natural food system offering. It was an inspirational couple of days showcasing indigenous kai and knowledge around the element of fire”, says Hayley.

The team met so many amazing community champions, such as Waikare Komene, Papatoetoe Food Hub, Kelly Francis, Whenua Warriors and Lionel Hotene, Papatūānuku Kokiri Marae who has been instrumental in the Ihumatao movement.

We are so proud of our Healthy Families South Auckland whānau, Mason Ngawhika, Anaru Ah Kew and the rest of the team at The Cause Collective. Thanks for hosting us and making us feel at home.

The festival is part of the month-long, city-wide Elemental AKL festival celebrating all things arts, eats and beats.

Ngā manaakitanga e ngā rangatira!