ATAMIRA – Maori in the City 2011, the largest three day celebration of Maori culture, will return to Auckland this October, the free festival is sponsored by Bank of New Zealand and promises a showcase of Maori culture, art, performance, sport and food.
The timing of the festival coincides with rugby quarterfinals and festival organisers are looking forward to offering both international and local visitors a unique Maori cultural experience that includes music, dance, fashion, art, craft market and food stalls in a fun family atmosphere.
“It’s heartening to see the response from overseas visitors planning to attend ATAMIRA – Maori in the City, we have always intended this year’s event to be an opportunity to showcase Maori culture to the world,” says event director Alec Hawke.
BNZ Head of Maori Business, Pierre Tohe says the bank is pleased to be able to support such a vibrant, cultural celebration, “At BNZ there is a genuine desire within the bank to promote Maori culture & business excellence, getting involved with ATAMIRA is a great way for us to do this.” This year’s festival will be held at ASB Showground’s from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 October and will build on the huge success of the 2007 and 2009 ATAMIRA Maori in the City festivals, which attracted over 100,000 people. A popular attraction of the festival is the food, visitors will be able to watch Maori cooking demonstrations and sample traditional and contemporary cuisine from stalls selling tasty food like whitebait fritters and hangi.
A highlight this year will be the Waahi Taonga area where visitors will be able to watch artists at work demonstrating ta moko (tattooing), and creating artworks of metal, wood, clay and stone. Master carvers will work on a traditional Maori waka (canoe) and artists will display fine art pieces.
On Saturday and Sunday, the music stage will be rocking with headline acts like Ardijah, House of Shem, Sons of Zion and Entourage, as well as everyone’s favourite, the “Streets to the Stage” Dance Competition.
The University of Auckland will partner with ATAMIRA this year to host the Tamaki Research Forum, where Maori researchers will share distinctive insights and perspectives into science and innovation.
The Forum will hear from experts such as earth system scientist, Dr Dan Hikuroa about his new approaches in rehabilitating polluted land, lakes and waterways and how he is setting about the sustainability of natural resources.
Models will take to the stage to present fashions from top Maori designers.
The fashion show, He Oranga Wahine Fashion Parade, will be presented by Ngakau Atawhai, a branch of the Maori Womens’ Welfare League branch, in support of Breast Cancer screening services. ATAMIRA – Maori in the City is hosted by Ngati Whatua o Orakei with principal sponsor Bank of New Zealand and supported by Te Puni Kokiri, Ports of Auckland, Aotearoa Credit Union, ASB Community Trust, University of Auckland, Auckland City and the Lotteries Fund.