Back to blogs

Matariki ki Pōneke

June 23, 2022

Ngā mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori!

Matariki heralds a time of remembrance, joy and peace. It is a time for communities to come together and celebrate, spend time with friends and whānau, and of course, enjoying delicious kai together. 

There’s plenty to see and do on Wellington’s waterfront with kai trucks, music, storytelling, Matariki fireworks and free Ahi Kā walks which offer an immersive experience honouring our culture and history. You can find out more about what’s happening here

If you are looking for kai near the celebrations, Karaka Café on Wellington’s waterfront is a natural choice. This all-day eatery is 100% Māori and Pasifika owned, and began with a vision to promote Māori culture in a positive light, through the sense of sight, sound and taste.  

Later in the evening wander down to Kuikui Lane in Te Aro, which is one the city’s newest cocktail bars and founded on the principle of manaakitanga, and inspired by the founders's own kuia. They have a special Matariki cocktail in celebration of the seven sisters. Try the Matariki Sunrise: Coffee, orange & chocolate (yum!).

During Visa Wellington On a Plate there are several events that celebrate our Māori culture and heritage.  Here are a few highlights to check out this August:

Chef Joe McLeod (Ngāi Tūhoe)

Ngā Kai o Te Wao ō Tāne o Hirānia

For this event Chef Joe McLeod (Ngāi Tūhoe) a tohunga (expert) in indigenous ingredients and Māori cuisine shares his passion for enhancing and preserving the indigenous culinary culture of Aotearoa New Zealand has joined forces with Zealandia’s Lead Ranger Bi-Cultural Engagement Terese McLeod (Taranaki Whānui) and this year’s Wellingtonian of the Year Environment winner to create this exclusive one-off nine-course dining memory.

Caucus Restaurant's Dine Wellington Festival dish: Ngake and Whātaitai

Ngake and Whātaitai

Caucus Restaurant was inspired by the legend of Maui for their Dine Wellington dish, Ngake and Whātaitai, recognising the Wellington region as Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui


Kuikui Lane's Garage Project presents Burger Wellington: Hangi Stack


Kuikui Lane's Cocktail Wellington presented by Tommy's: Kuikui Wana

Kuikui Lane

Kuikui Lane are doing the Hangi Stack for Garage Project Presents Burger Wellington, and the Kuikui Wana for Cocktail Wellington presented by Tommy’s which features Aurora Pohutukawa gin.