The Taniwha & Dragon Festival

A Chinese dragon at the Taniwha and Dragon Festival

Promoted as the world’s first Taniwha and Dragon Festival,  a celebration of the bonds between Maori and Chinese people took place on Saturday 27 April 2013.

Auckland's Chinese community were formally welcomed with a pòwhiri on to Òràkei Marae by Ngàti Whàtua warriors and whànau, and accompanied by a a dancing Chinese dragon.

At the heart of the festival was a workshop where traditional Māori and Chinese kites were made and flown.

Kites soar above Takaparawhau
Whether they were used for military intelligence, heavenly insight or to catch schools of fish: the first recorded kites flew above China during the Tang Dynasty more than 2000-years ago.  Over the next millennia kites spread throughout the Asia Pacific region and across Polynesia.   For Māori, the art of kite making and flying played a huge role in ancient times, with the God Rehua referred to as the ancestor of Kites.  

The festival also included cultural entertainment and food stalls.

Vivien Verheijen, a Senior Ethnic Affairs Advisor from the Office of Ethnic Affairs  who attended the festival, says it was a great gathering to demonstrate our social harmony and community cohesion  in New Zealand.