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TEDxChristchurch 2019: Tūrangawaewae Event Wins Best Community Event And And Best Food Experience

Key points:

TEDxChristchurch 2019 was a big winner at the NZEA Awards last night, taking home both the Best Community Event and Best Food Experience awards

TEDxChristchurch 2019: Tūrangawaewae—A Place of Belonging, was created to celebrate the 10th edition of TEDxChristchurch supported by Matapopore Charitable Trust

With nearly 2000 attendees across two days, it was the biggest and most inclusive offering to date, executed with a profound commitment to biculturalism and serving to provoke, delight and inspire all attendees

Event was led by a dedicated community of volunteers and operated on a non-money-making basis under a free license from TED

TEDxChristchurch 2019 took home the wins for “Best Community Event” and “Best Food Experience” at the recent 2019 New Zealand Events Association Awards.

Last year’s event TEDxChristchurch 2019: Tūrangawaewae—A Place of Belonging, was made particularly special thanks to a partnership with Ngāi Tūāhuriri, activated through their subsidiary Matapopore Charitable Trust.

This relationship allowed the TEDxChristchurch team to reflect the concept of tūrangawaewae in the event’s name, design, curation, and catering. “It was really important to us to integrate tikanga Māori into the heart of our event, and we knew that could only happen in partnership with mana whenua,” said Kaila Colbin, curator and licensee of last year's TEDxChristchurch. “We were honoured to work with Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Matapopore to progress our journey towards bicultural practice.”

The celebration featured TEDxYouth@Christchurch on the Saturday and TEDxChristchurch on the Sunday at the Christchurch Town Hall.

TEDxYouth@Christchurch featured 14 speakers and performers—the youngest was 13—covering topics including identity, tech, business, genetics, climate change and mental health. TEDxChristchurch featured 20 speakers and performers, with talks that addressed feminist economics, education, censorship, activism, resilience, innovation in health care, and more.

Both theatres were filled as attendees enjoyed guest speakers, live music, live stream, interstitial activities and catering.

Nine activation partners offered experiential touch points to keep guests exploring and entertained during breaks, and walking tours with in-app information of local areas of interest were offered.

Tickets were provided to members of Muslim, Māori and Pasifika communities and accessiblity was increased by working with Ngāi Tahu, Wayne Francis Charitable Trust and the University of Canterbury.

A live viewing party at Tūranga (Christchurch’s central library) was hosted and supported by librarians who organised relevant book displays and provided a trained youth worker during some of the more confronting talks.

This space came alive during the Southern Cross Irish Dancing segment where friends and family gathered to watch their live performance of 50 dancers aging from 5–60.

Bi-cultural aspects of the event included a karanga (welcome) into the venue by mana whenua; speakers from Ngāi Tahu, an opening mihi whakatau for the Youth event; an innovative hāngī lunch; and design direction.

In keeping with the theme and in collaboration with Matapopore, a menu was designed to celebrate mahinga kai, the interconnected beliefs and practices relating to the environment and gathered food.

Committed to sourcing only local, fresh, ethically sourced and sustainable foods, TEDxChristchurch partnered with Larissa Cox-Winiata of Matapopore Charitable Trust, hāngī master Grenville Pitama and team, renowned chef Richard Till, and Executive Chef Dan Shanks and his Vbase team.

Says Shanks, “It's exciting to win such a prestigious award using such a collaborative approach. Local produce, Iwi, TEDxChristchurch and Vbase working together produced an outcome so far beyond our expectations that I have been immensely proud to be a part of it”.

The menu had two options: kaimoana and kaivegan. Kaimoana offered fresh local seafood from Gravity Fishing, Akaroa Salmon and mussels from Banks Peninsula.

Kaivegan featured grains from Milmore Downs, a certified BioGrow farm in North Canterbury, and addressed the dietary requirements of most attendees. Fresh braeburn apples were available all day, direct from crate, grown only 5km away. No plastic single-use serveware was on site and all waste was sorted into three streams to increase landfill diversion.

Says Dame Aroha H Reriti-Crofts, Chairperson of Matapopore, “Congratulations to everyone, including our Rangatahi who supported the blessing and Mihi with their beautiful Waiata Kinaki. So very proud of our Hangi Master-Grenville Pitama, who has followed the footsteps of his father, Tasman Pitama.”

With a tight timeline for the day, the dual option hāngi lunch was delivered to 1400 guests in 10 minutes, with each parcel prepared by a dedicated volunteer.

Of the win, Colbin says; “It’s always been a tremendous honour to work with our dedicated team of volunteers to deliver something that’s meaningful for the community. I couldn’t be happier to have our collective efforts recognised by these awards.”

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