FLAVA Festival


Ka Toi Māori o Aoraki was an initiative that derived from the now historical Maori Youth Suicide Prevention strategy, Kia Piki Te Ora o Te Taitamariki. 

This strategy was rolled out in South Canterbury through the formation of a key community team responsible for planning and implementing initiatives aimed at building resilience in Maori youth and supporting whanau/community connectedness.   Initially groups of rangatahi and tamariki were exposed to Te Ao Maori through local wananga and supported to travel to specialized wananga e.g. Taiaha, Career Workshops, Kapahaka etc.  

In 2006, Kia Piki Te Ora o Te Taitamariki rangatahi identified an interest in developing a local schools competition to promote pride in their identity, to showcase their talents and to express their creativity.  Several Hui later, the concept of an annual schools cultural festival was born. Rakatahi decided the theme for this initial festival would be FLAVA signifying the bringing together of people of all flavours in a celebration of culture. Although officially known as Ka Toi Māori o Aoraki, FLAVA is a name that appears to have stuck with the festival and has morphed into an anagram:              

  • Future Learning Achievement Virtue Autonomy 
  • Future: motivation to look forward to our future
  • Learning: motivation to want to grow and expand your mind
  • Achievement: motivation to work hard and attain excellence
  • Virtue: motivation to be worth to self, family and community
  • Autonomy: motivation to help and be of service to others. 

Ka Toi Māori o Aoraki is open to all early childhood, primary, secondary schools and tertiary education within the Arowhenua rohe (bordered by the Southern Alps and between the Waitaki & Rakaia rivers). 

This year we heldthe eighth FLAVA Festival, ‘Ka Toi Māori o Aoraki’, at the Theatre Royal on Friday, 15th August. Twenty-seven schools and early childhood centres from the Aoraki region, between the Waitaki and the Rakaia rivers, took part in Kapahaka, performing, arts, and contributed to visual arts. 

The festival was organised Arowhenau Whanau Services, alongside a steering group that included teachers, mainstream and Māori Health providers, and a number of community organisations.

The FLAVA festival is growing in numbers every year and provides students with an opportunity to discover and experience a breath taking lens into Te Ao Māori (the world of Māori), and an awe-inspiring opportunity to showcase and view their wonderful talent. At the same time, whānau, friends and the wider community were able to view the festival and enjoy a truly bicultural festival that was comprised of three categories: kapahaka (traditional dance and waiata), performing arts (waiata, whaikōrero, short stage drama, music, dance and other stage performances) and visual arts (two- and three-dimensional paintings, drawings, sculptures, and weaving). 

Once again, the festival was a huge success, with the Theatre Royal being packed to capacity for the full day.  Groups that had clearly devoted long hours to perfecting their skills treated the audience to some incredibly colourful and exciting performances.


View the 2017 Awards Here


“Another good day, successful again” – Hampstead School



“FLAVA was an excellent experience for our school Kapa Haka Group. Very well organised and great venue! Thank you to all involved for their hard work.” – Ashburton Borough School



“Well done for Friday! Thank you for giving our tamariki the opportunity to express themselves through Māori performing arts. It is a lot of mahi but it is so rewarding for all in the end. Nga mihi nui.” – Geraldine Primary School



“Flava Festival was a blast for Bluestone this year THANK YOU! It was wonderful to be able to introduce some new kids to the FLAVA culture. I appreciated all the admin preparation. It meant that we could plan well and have our kids well supported.” – Bluestone School