Motueka Kai Fest

Sunday, April 7th 2019

10am - 3pm



Motueka Kai Fest is a wonderful signature event held each year during harvest time (autumn) 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 (the Maori word for food).

The 2019 event will take place on Sunday, April 7th,  from 10am to 3pm on Decks Reserve in the centre of town.  (If too wet, it will be on the following Sunday, April 14th.)

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

A series of stalls and displays will be set up by the local horticulturists and other leading food industries, showcasing their wares and upcoming innovations.

We invite people and community groups to apply for stall space to display and sell their foods and other food-related products.  To date, more than 70 stalls have signed up. To apply, please click on this link and fill in the form online:

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 roving entertainers at spots around the reserve. As well, there will be a large area set aside for educational games (the "Mitre10 Education Village"). Some games are organised at particular times and others free for individual use at any time. Plus a bungy trampoline for teenagers and adults (small charges apply) and a free bouncy castle course for the kids.

Related events: In the week following 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 (4 on Kai Fest day and 9 others during the week). Click here to view the full descriptions of all workshops, and click here to see the workshop and tour dates, times and venues.

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.

Overnight parking for certified self-contained motorhomes and caravans has been made available at the local Motueka Rugby Park - entrance is at the end of Manoy Street, right in town.

Arrival is anytime after 4pm on Saturday the 6th of April. There are workshops throughout the week until departure from the site by Sunday the 14th of April. Cost is $10 per vehicle for one night, multiple nights: $8pv/pn. To book your site, and for general enquiries please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact us: To find out more about preparations for the event, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to our Facebook page, "Motueka Kai Fest".

Sponsors and Supporters: We gratefully acknowledge the organisations that have contributed financially to the creation and running of this event. Our funders and financial supporters include:

  • Tasman District Council - a special, one-off grant for a major event
  • Rata Foundation - for the second year
  • Lion Foundation - also for the second year
  • Turners & Growers Global Ltd
  • Vision Motueka
  • Wakatu Incorporated
  • Ngati Rarua Atiawa Iwi Trust (NRAIT)
  • Talley's
  • Te Runanga o Ngāti Rārua
  • Penati Nut & Seed Crackers
  • Te Atiawa Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust
  • Mitre10 Motueka
  • Kim McGlashen
  • Motueka Community Store
  • Pic's Peanut Butter
  • Motueka Rotary
  • FlexiTenz Stretch Tents and Hybrid Marquee hire

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.

  • FlexiTenz Stretch Tents and Hybrid Marquee hire
  • Motueka Community Store
  • Penati Nut & Seed crackers
  • Motueka Rotary