Westland petrel

The Tāiko Festival was started seven years ago to mark the return of the tāiko to their nesting sites just south of Punakaiki.  There’s something for everyone and lots to do.

Friday 7th, 4.30pm Westland petrel walk and talk

The festival starts with a beach parade and talk by our very own taiko specialist, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, on the evening of Friday 7th May at McMillan’s Beach.  Kerry-Jayne will tell you all about tāiko and then help you spot the magnificent black birds gathering on the horizon as they ‘raft up’ before flying overhead to their nest sites.

Meet at the car park at the end of McMillan’s Road, south of Punakaiki.

Kerry-Jayne leads sunset petrel walk_
Kerry-Jayne leads the sunset petrel walk at the start of the 2019 Taiko festival

The petrel walk and talk will be followed by an open mic night at the Punakaiki Beach Camp from 7.00pm.

On Saturday 8th, there will be yoga on the beach in Punakaiki, 8.30-9.30am (or at the beach camp under cover if wet).

Native tree planting is being led by the NZ Conservation Volunteers at the Punakaiki Coastal Restoration project (3916 State Highway 6, Barrytown) between 9am and 12 noon along with a bunch of conservation-focused activities including plant releasing or potting up seedlings and other nursery tasks. Make sure you register by emailing Annie Inwood on ainwood@cvnz.org.nz or by calling 03 731 1808. Parents, children, families and friends are all welcome but please note parental supervision is required for all children.

Saturday 8th from 9.00am Community Market

The Trust will be at the community market on the village green at Dolomite Point beside the visitor centre from 9am – come and say hello 🙂 and enjoy the local stall holders’ creativity.

Saturday 8th, 2.30-4pm Punakaiki Beach Camp Afternoon of Entertainment

Kiwi Conservation Club West Coast coordinator, Suzanne Hills, will be presenting loads of fun based on the taiko for children and families.  Just turn up to celebrate the return of the Tāiko|Westland Petrel, Punakaiki Beach Camp, Owen Road, Punakaiki.

Come and play the giant board games to hatch your petrel egg and raise your hatchling, while guarding your precious egg and chick against the dangers. When your fledgling is ready to fly, get your Tāiko passport and follow the trash ‘n’ treasure trail. Can you fly the high seas route to reach South America and what will you find? Fly your way back to Punakaiki to get your passport stamped.

Free activity open to all families/whānau. Suitable for children of all ages. Parental/caregiver supervision required for under 14s.  Tell all the families you know!

Also on offer will be Carrot the Clown and a circus workshop from 2.00pm.

Main festival from 4pm

The music festival gets underway at 4pm with live poetry, first from Punakaiki poet laureate Trev Hayes, and then “Poet of the People” David Merritt will read poetry against a backdrop of viola from West Coast-born Justine Francis.

Kerry-Jayne Wilson is back at 5.40pm to tell the crowds about the precious tāiko.

The main music programme begins at 6.00pm with Greymouth’s Not Just Jazz and then Tiki Taane & PDIGSSS follow at 7.45pm.  The evening wraps up with Taiko Rap at 10.15 and Dylan C at 10.30pm.

The full programme can be found here, and find out more on the festival facebook page.

Tickets from Cosmic Ticketing: https://www.cosmicticketing.co.nz/event/5684

Westland petrel in flight
Westland petrel in flight. Photo: Sonja Ross