16 Jul 2020
Today the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO) celebrates Matariki Māori New Year in Taiwan.
Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Icyang Parod joined NZCIO Director Moira Turley to witness fragrant baskets of food being lifted from the ground, after hours of being cooked in a traditional earth oven called a ‘hangi’.
After a powerful performance by Hualien County’s Halawan Community, the guests sampled a feast of New Zealand lamb, sweet potato and chicken. Guests were also treated to performances by Taipei-based Kiwi singer Laurence Larson, and Taiwanese indigenous group 2.0.
Director Turley welcomed the opportunity to host this event. “Matariki is a time to celebrate friends and family, and what better time to come together to celebrate after an incredibly difficult start to 2020. It is testament to Taiwan’s effective response to COVID-19 that we are able to host this event today”.
This is the third annual Matariki celebration hosted by NZCIO in Taiwan. Previous years saw visiting delegations by New Zealand film makers and Māori business experts to share their knowledge and build relationships with Taiwanese counterparts.
“While we haven’t been able to invite guests from New Zealand to celebrate Matariki in Taiwan this year, this uniquely New Zealand event demonstrates our manaakitanga (hospitality) and is an opportunity to share our culture, kai (food) and waiata (song) with our friends here in Taiwan”.
“The connection between Māori and the Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan is a special part of our relationship. We have much to share with and learn from each other”.
NZCIO would like to acknowledge the generous sponsorship of Zespri, Fonterra Brands (New Young) Pte. Ltd. Taiwan branch, Somuch Co. Ltd, Zealong, MRJ International Ltd, Comvita, Ecostore, Red Seal, Shott, and Liv Ming International Co., Ltd. NZCIO would also like to give a special thanks to ANZCO Foods for providing the lamb for our hangi, and the Council of Indigenous Peoples for their wonderful food and performances and continuous support.
See the Facebook NZCIO(external link) website for more information on Matariki, and check out our Matariki cooking competition to be in to win a basket of the best New Zealand goodies available in Taiwan.