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Kaikoura Seafest Festival in 10th year

Kaikoura Seafest Festival in 10th year

One of New Zealand’s top festivals, the Kaikoura Seafest, celebrates its 10th anniversary on October 2.

Over the past 10 years, tens of thousands of dollars have been fed back into the small Kaikoura seaside community from money raised by the festival. The 10th Seafest offers an amazing assortment of food from the land and sea and a great selection of wine and other drinks.

Up for tasting are paua, mussels, oysters, scallops, prawns, whitebaits, crayfish, blue cod and crab plus other food and many Marlborough and Kaikoura wines.

A giant centre marquee means people can enjoy the day regardless of the weather.

Though the festival celebrates the rich seafood the area offers, the community warily protects its marine resource.

They imposed a rahui (seafood and fishing ban) south of the town two years ago and it is still in place. They want to extend the ban for another two years to help fully restore paua stocks.

Festival goers, limited to 5500 tickets, can also learn about the state of the crayfish and mussel stocks from national seafood industry council people.

One of New Zealand’s top chefs Rex Morgan of Citron Restaurant Wellington will demonstrate seafood cooking.

Morgan has cooked in some of the country’s best known kitchens, including Huka Lodge in Taupo and Icon at Te Papa, as well as overseas in Switzerland and London. His record features the Chef of the Nation title won at the Culinary Fare in Auckland in 2001.

A festival spokeswoman, Neroli Gold, said Seafest was a fantastic small town celebration of what the sea and land had to offer.

``We understand out event is ranked as one of the premier festivals in New Zealand.’’ Kaikoura District Council chief executive Stuart Grant said the festival had been a tremendous success for Kaikoura.

``Kaikoura benefits considerably from this event by drawing visitors year after year. It is great for the profile of the town and what we represent.

``The festival doesn't increase visitors to the town, but controls our numbers as we try to reduce the tourist impact on our unique environment.’’

This year’s Seafest is aiming to be a zero waste event which is part of Kaikoura’s status as a Green Globe community. A total of 1.4 million people visited the whale-watching town last year. The town has just 3483 residents and tourist numbers are rising. Sustainable tourism has been the key to their success.

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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