Yoo-hoo huhu: Wild food fest on menu

21:20, Jul 18 2013
Wild food festival
GRUB’S UP: Rotary Club of Invercargill events co-ordinator Alice Pottinger looks for huhu grubs at Sandy Point ahead of an annual wild food festival in the city planned for early next year.

Plans are being advanced to hold an annual wild food festival in Invercargill as part of a Southland festival week in mid-February each year.

The Rotary Club of Invercargill is organising the Southern Wild Food Festival to coincide with the A2B Yacht Race, Surf to City event, Waimumu Field Days and perhaps other events.

An overarching Southland promotional group will tie the week's activities together.

Rotary Club of Invercargill events co-ordinator Alice Pottinger said the wild food festival would run along the lines of the Hokitika festival and would be an opportunity for charitable and community groups to raise funds for their organisations.

The wild food festival date has been pencilled in for February 15 - at the conclusion of the A2B Yacht Race - at the new Stadium Southland.

Mrs Pottinger said the event had attracted widespread approval. The rotary club had asked the city council for startup funding assistance but had yet to hear back, she said.


The club's 70 members are expected to give the wild food festival the official go-ahead on Tuesday when they will be told the event's budget.

The club began exploring the idea of holding the festival when the Rape and Abuse Support Centre lost some of its funding and asked for help, Mrs Pottinger said.

"We suggested we run [a wild food festival] and raise funds for them in the first year, and also give them the opportunity to raise their own funds."

Mrs Pottinger said the rotary club hoped other non-profit groups in Southland would set up stalls at the festival to raise funds for themselves.

Planning was advanced and committees were being formed to run the festival.

It was expected to feature wild Southland foods such as huhu grubs, toheroa, pork, venison and duck.

Vibrant Invercargill town centre manager Joan Scarlett said she hoped the festival would attract out-of-towners to the city for the weekend.

The festival would be about two months before the annual Bluff Oyster and Food Festival.

The Southland Times