Ngāpuhi Festival

An estimated crowd of 35,000 flocked to Northland College, Kaikohe, to celebrate the sixth Ngāpuhi Festival. For a town with a population of just over 4,000 (2006 Census), this is quite an influx of visitors. Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi chairman Raniera (Sonny) Tau says, “The Ngāpuhi Festival is a celebration of being Ngāpuhi.” Ngāpuhi have the largest iwi population, at more than 122,000, and more than 300 hapū. The numbers that attend the festival have grown exponentially, with the 2005 inaugural festival attracting 7,000 people. A Ngāpuhi woman at the festival said, “How many of us say to our whānau, ‘Let it not be at a tangi that we get to see each other,’? And this is one of those times. I am immensely proud to be Ngāpuhi, and when I am around both the wisdom of our karani and the talent of our taiohi, I can’t help but be excited for my kids!”