Waitangi Day celebrations at the Northland home of the Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, Matua Shane Jones are legendary.
When he says “Come for a kai” – Be happy! The event is a chance to enjoy great hospitality and to mingle with a who’s who of New Zealanders from many different walks of life.
Invited guests are treated to the best produce and seafood available in Northland. The menu highlighting Maori cuisine topped with a hangi (food cooked traditionally in an underground earth oven). It is a delight for foodies, the taste and aroma of delectable dishes lingering in the memory, long after the day passes and everyone returning to their normal routines.
Waitangi Day at the Jones homestead is indeed, a celebration of New Zealand, enjoyed amongst family and friends.
Pacific Periscope guest contributor Haukura Jones, PT&I Office Administrator described the event;
“Saturday the 4th of February was the annual Waitangi celebration at the home of the Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, Matua Shane Jones.
We were hosted by him, his fiancé Dorothy Pumipi and their family. The night was successful, with more than 200 people attending, including 40 diplomats from Wellington and Canberra, politicians, work colleagues, businessmen, friends and family.
Matua Shane Jones said to come for a kai but it was in fact, a feast.
He ensured that his visitors were well fed with copious amounts of seafood including Raw fish, Crayfish, Paua (Abalone), Tuatua Fritters (a type of shellfish found in the sand beds in a low-tide). He also had tuna flown in from Fiji which was served as sashimi.
The main meal was a hangi which is traditionally cooked underground but due to the Northland region currently suffering from a drought there is a complete fire ban and so the hangi was cooked in steam cookers.
Each packed individually to cater for 240 guests they were cooked with beef, lamb, pork, chicken, kumara, cabbage, potato, pumpkin and stuffing and packed in tinfoil pockets. The underground smoky flavour was mimicked by using the Manuka (NZ Tea Tree) wood chippings in the last 30 minutes of cooking the hangi.
It was a very successful night; the food was beautiful and it was great to meet many people and in a relaxing environment.”
Matua Shane Jones said it was a pleasure to host such a mix of visitors to Waitangi, Tai Tokerau. “As you know, I spend a lot of time helping to generate income for people in the Tuna industry, the quality of the Pacific yellow finned Tuna was brilliant, the evidence of which was – it disappeared almost immediately. Waitangi Day is changing and I hope it becomes one of our treasured special festive days in the nation’s calendar.”
For more information please contact: Haukura Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org