What started off as a one-off event in 2010 has now etched itself into the community calendar. The Annual Hangi has now become a regular celebration of local groups working together for community benefit.
The initial effort saw the partnership of the local Anglican Parish and Ashhurst Pohangina Presidents rugby team begin. This team has now a reputation for well-cooked and executed hangi. Cash and vegetables are donated by parishioners; meat is sourced and largely donated from local farmers.
Parishioners meet to prepare the vegetables the day before, enjoying the time to talk and work at the same time. Plenty of hard work, days of preparation, and an early morning start to dig the pit and start the fire is a demonstration of true generosity by the rugby team. The months of planning and work is always rewarded with a queue of people eager to sample some authentic Kiwi kai. Numbers of meals distributed have been growing over the years and we have served around 300-350 meals for each event.
We are really grateful for the ongoing support and generosity of all those who contribute gifts of food money and time, parishioners and farmers, without this help we would not be able to continue. In recent years we have appreciated the support of the local Scouts and the Ashhurst Christian Fellowship offering practical support on the day.
The fantastic local Ashhurst Ukulele band, UKEBOX, have been regular entertainment with their easy listening, toe tapping and varied music and has provided opportunity for the youngsters to dance. Thanks to Aleisha Rutherford our local Palmerston North City Councillor for enthusiastically supporting our event in practical ways over the last two years.
This year as in previous years any leftover kai is taken into the Shepherds Rest Trust, and is distributed around their residents which is gratefully and enthusiastically received.
Some people ask why we put on this event – we enjoy the opportunity to celebrate our church’s birthday with the village of Ashhurst by providing this opportunity to come and eat together.
Jesus fed 5,000 – we are happy to feed 350!
A big thank you to everyone mentioned above, Village Valley Automotive Ltd, and Ashhurst Engineering and Construction for their ongoing support with equipment required on the day.