The inaugural Te Manu Atatū Māori Business Awards ceremony was held last month, with staff and students from UCOL’s Whanganui campus playing key roles in the organisation and staging of the event.
Over 400 guests attended the ceremony at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre to recognise and celebrate the success of Māori in Whanganui business.
UCOL Programme Leader/Chef Lecturer Jan MacGibbon was tasked with writing a menu that featured traditional Māori flavours, and also incorporated food items from a wide range of Iwi-owned businesses.
“I was glad to take on such an exciting challenge. We had to feed 400 people in a formal setting with strict timeframes,” says Jan.
Jan says it was a great team effort from staff and students from all programme levels.
“It was a great event. Our staff and students spent two days doing everything from washing potatoes, trimming lamb, dicing kilos of onions, scrubbing mussels, frying hundreds of little balls of dough, and charring carrots, then finally plating and presenting the end products. They did an amazing job.”
For a starter, guests were treated to platters of kai moana (seafood), pâtés and salts.
The main course featured lamb rump marinated in fresh kawakawa leaves and a chicken ballotine wrapped in Manuka smoked bacon, served with a golden kumara cake and piri piri-infused jus lie.
The meal ended with a selection of both traditional and the more classical petit fours (bite-sized confectionaries).
UCOL Lectures Jacqui Broughton and Damian Peeti are members of Te Manu Atatū and were part of the awards organising party, while Design Lecturer Cecelia Kumeroa designed the invitations, posters, and menus for the event.
UCOL Council Chair Malcolm Inglis presented the award for Best Māori Business – Tourism, and 2014 UCOL Honours Award recipient Mavis Mullins was the keynote speaker.