Matariki community kai will bring together tangata whenua, Pasifika, migrants and refugees

Press Release

Matariki community kai will bring together tangata whenua, Pasifika, migrants and refugees

SOUL Solidarity Pōneke are inviting tangata whenua, Pasifika, migrant and refugee background people to come together for a community kai (meal) during Matariki this year.

Following the Christchurch terrorist attack in March and the ongoing struggle to protect the whenua at Ihumātao in South Auckland, the community kai will be an opportunity to celebrate Matariki, reflect on the past year, and look toward to the future together.

Kassie Hartendorp, event co-organiser says that “the gathering will bring together people from different cultures, who are affected by similar issues of racism. It is an opportunity to connect and heal together and demonstrate the kind of community that gives no room to hate and fear. This is particularly relevant in light of violent rhetoric aimed at Muslim communities in this country and beyond.”

“When racialised groups can get pitted against each other in these ways, moments for genuine, mutual exchange and sharing between community members is invaluable.”

“Matariki is an important time for remembrance and planning new beginnings. There will be performances, story-telling, and sharing around Matariki and the opportunity for guests to share their stories too. We recognise that many cultures relate to the stars and the moon under their own lunar calendars” says Nadia Abu-Shanab, event-co-organiser.

Matariki community kai is being held on Sunday 23rd June, 6pm at the Newtown Community Centre (corner of Rintoul and Colombo Streets). Guests are asked to bring a plate of what they love to eat. This is a free, family-friendly, alcohol-free event.

Matariki community kai is being hosted by SOUL Solidarity Pōneke, a part of the SOUL Solidarity Network which campaigns for Ihumātao to be returned to mana whenua.

For more information, please contact: Kassie Hartendorp at


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