He reka te kai

17 Sep 2020

Everyone enjoys good kai – so what better way to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori than to share a tasty, tender feast?

It takes time to prepare a hangi. Teachers Mike Field and Steve Everingham, and Year 12 students Jack Jones (Ngāi Tahu), Nathan McKenzie (Ngāti Māhanga) and Hendrix Tayor (Ngāti Kahungunu), guided by kaimahi Tieki Kupenga (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Whātua) started the process on Tuesday afternoon, digging a pit on the bank overlooking Upper and filling it with wood and stones ready to burn.

It is lucky the boys are boarders, as the team reconvened at 4am on Wednesday 16 September to get the fire underway. By 6.30am the wood had burned down, the stones were red hot and they could start to stock it with meat and vegetables prepared by chef – or, as she says, “kitchen minion” – Peata Whautere (Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tawake) and her Dining Hall colleagues. Then it was covered and slow cooked, until dug up again later in the morning and transferred to the Dining Hall for a shared lunch.

And the verdict? He reka te kai. Tino pai.

Tēnā koutou. Our grateful thanks to everyone who helped make it happen – especially those who sacrificed a good night’s sleep to ensure everything would be ready in time.