Matariki at the Auckland Museum

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New World Matariki Wānanga-a-kai

Food has always been an integral part of New Year celebrations and this new multi-faceted food forum offers a special opportunity to discover traditional Māori ingredients and kai. Guests can enjoy demonstrations and tastings, hosted by chef Rewi Spraggon, as well as the chance to participate in a hāngi-making workshop and traditional Māori bread making competition….

New World Matariki Wānanga-a-kai (food forum) details
When: Tuesday 7 June – Wednesday 8 June, 6.30pm – 9pm
Where: Grand Foyer, Auckland Museum
Cost: Free, but registration required at

Rewi Spraggon

Rewi Spraggon (Ngati Hine, Ngati Maniapoto) lives at Bethells Beach. He has trained as a chef, but reckons he’s learned more from his time living in Tahiti, among some amazing indigenous chefs – and his mum.

Rewi loves Pacific Rim indigenous foods and has won a world title that attests to that – World Indigenous BBQ Champion 2005, held in Hawaii. Rewi has spent years mastering traditional Maori kai. He attributes much of his success to understanding and being comfortable with natural, raw ingredients. He points out that “we see lots of people using certain ingredients but they don’t know what it looks like in the bush. Many don’t realise the implications of what they’re using.” He uses the example of the horopito, “which is like chilli – and was traditionally used to improve heart function. If you knew what you’re doing, you might match that up with gamey-type foods or to counteract products that are higher in cholesterol.”

Rewi is a great addition to the New World Matariki Wānanga-a-kai and his unique, ‘traditionally modern’ flair is sure to add a lot of flavour to this years event.

Rewi’s Matariki Recipes

Toroi / Puha and mussel salad


1 large shopping bag of Puha Taratara (prickly type)

2 doz green lip or blue mussels

3 litre’s of water


Put water in to a large pot boil then add mussels as soon as the mussel opens remove them from the pot. Then remove the shells, cut the mussel meat into quarters and but to the side. Break the stalks of the puha off and start to rub the puha together vigorously to soften puha and remove the bitterness taste. With the remaining mussel juice water strain into another pot removing shell and gritty bits then bring to the boil again. Add puha to the pot for about 2-3 minutes slightly blanching it, remove from the heat and then add in the mussels, once cooled down you can either serve directly to the table. To preserve put into glass jar container while loop warm and make sure that all bubbles are released from the jar, this will last up to 12months in the cupboard once opened store in the fridge which again will last a week.

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