Community enjoy marae kai

HEAVY WORK: Right, the hot, steaming baskets of food are lifted from the hangi pit.
HEAVY WORK: Right, the hot, steaming baskets of food are lifted from the hangi pit.

A day for the community to come together for music, singing, activities, workshops and some kapai kai was held at Piritahi Marae on Waitangi Day.

The regionwide fire ban on cooking fires was lifted for the day by Auckland Council so residents could enjoy traditional celebrations like hangi and umu.

The ban on using pizza ovens and solid fuel-type barbecues was also lifted for the day.

KAPAI KAI: Zarndra Motu, left, and Whaea Kathy Lumbar help to dish up the hangi on Waitangi Day at Piritahi Marae
KAPAI KAI: Zarndra Motu, left, and Whaea Kathy Lumbar help to dish up the hangi on Waitangi Day at Piritahi Marae

The traditional hangi at Piritahi Marae is the most popular element of Waitangi Day. It was heavy work for the team led by Danny Shortland, lifting the crates of steaming food out of the pit, but punters were appreciative of the generous portions, their $5 plates overflowing with food.

Then it was time to relax in the sun, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the music.

The total fire ban for the region is back in place. It includes cooking fires on private property as well as open air fires including rubbish fires, bonfires, backyard braziers and fireworks. Solid fuel cooking fires in public areas are banned.

Call the Fire Service immediately on 111 if you see a suspicious fire or smoke.

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