April 9th 2017

10am - 3pm

Motueka Kai Fest is a wonderful signature event held each year during harvest time to remind ourselves and tell the world about the great food produced in the Motueka area. And to have a lot of fun! 

Motueka grows great food, thanks to outstanding water, soil, climate and people; and the Kai Fest brings together our community of many cultures to learn more about and honour one thing which we all have in common - Kai (food).

Programme: The event will take place on Sunday, April 9th, 2017, from 10am to 3pm on Decks Reserve, in association with Motueka Sunday Market.  View the promotional video to get a flavour. Nearly 160 food, general and community stalls will be operating.

As well as the range of stalls running throughout the day, the highlight of the event will be the parade and pageant starting at 11 a.m. This promises to be a celebratory, colourful and noisy tribute to the four elements - earth, water, air and fire - performed by children from five of our schools, with the assistance of seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands with their unique dances and sounds.

Look out for the specially prepared banners, flags and costumes as they circle Decks Reserve and finally come together in recognition of the role that our environment plays in providing us with the quality food available in Motueka.

At 1 p.m. the central space will be cleared for a series of family games, organised by the experts in team-building games at Whenua Iti. The games are specially designed to be fun for all ages, children to grannies. With prizes available everyone is encouraged to join in.

Entertainment: Entertainment through the day features a great variety of local musicians and artists. Bands will play from the performance stage, but there will also be buskers and roving entertainers at spots around the reserve.

The main lineup is:
* Cool Vibes - Reggae music - 9.30am to 11am
* Miro, Rob and friends - Drumming ensemble - 10am to 11am and during the pageant
* Heather Simpson - Guitar and vocals - original songs - 12pm to 1pm
* Luke - Innovative guitar - 12pm to 1pm
* Paul Bond - multi instrumenalist - 1pm to 2pm
* Harmony Aquarian - Singer, songwriter, roving entertainer - 1pm until 2pm
* Stella Bogdanoff - Visual art performer - 12.30pm to 1pm and during the pageant
* Damara and Kiwa Sylvester - Stilt walkers - 10am to 11am
* Yola - Stilt walker (twisty twin) - 12pm to 1pm
* Lemongrass - Dance band - 2pm to 3pm

Special guest: NZ cricketing legend John Wright is using the Motueka Kai Fest to launch his music video featuring the song 'Driving into Mot'. You can meet him at the event, and/or get tickets for his concert that night. Book here.

Bus service: A large crowd may mean it's hard to get a car park in any streets near Decks Reserve, so a FREE bus service will be circulating between the venue and the Recreation Centre where plenty of parking is available.

The bus will go around a route from Decks Reserve, down High Street to Old Wharf Road and the Rec Centre, then up Thorp Street to Greenwood Street and Wallace Street. Look out for the Kai Fest banners decorating it.

Edge events: In the week of April 1st - April 8th, leading up to the Sunday festival day, the community group Our Kai Motueka is hosting a set of workshops, tours and talks aiming to expand our understanding of food. You can register for events online or at the Motueka i-Site. View the Edge Event programme here. Or see the week's calendar here.

Stallholders: If you want to apply to host a stall at the Sunday event in Decks Reserve, you need to register. Registration form for food stalls. Registration form for other (non-food) stalls. Read the stallholder Terms and Conditions.

Motorhome visitors: This family-friendly event is being promoted by the NZ Motor Caravan Association - parking sites for members are available close to the event location. Details here.

Sponsors and Supporters: We gratefully acknowledge the organisations that have contributed financially to the creation and running of this event. View details about these supporters here.

Well known for its apples, pears, kiwifruit, grapes and wineries, hops and brewers, ciders, boysenberries and other berry crops, herbs, and seafood (the home of Talley's), the Motueka area is one of the most important and productive food basket regions in New Zealand, and the Motueka community is proud to celebrate this.

The event organisers - a group of people from across the Motueka community - aim to renew awareness around harvest time each year of this special part of Motueka life and celebrate it through community gathering, fun, pageantry, sharing of cultures, sampling and learning.

Many people living here do not fully appreciate how lucky we are, how important local food production and quality food is in our changing world, and how much the future of our town depends on a thriving and evolving food production sector. Visitors also are often surprised by how fertile and productive the Motueka District is.

Motueka Kai Fest involves the participation of people from across the whole community as participants, entertainers, artists, food processors, teachers, demonstrators and onlookers. The involvement of schools, community groups, food businesses and producers, and the range of ethnicities (including popular RSE workers) and cultures in the region are central to the celebration.

  • Motueka Sunday Market
  • Motueka Community Store
  • Motueka Rotary