Hundreds of people were expected on Saturday at the Carterton Rugby Club grounds in Wairarapa for a rugby, haka and hangi festivals.
Ngati Kahungunu are holding four of the festivals during the Rugby World Cup.
The organiser, Te Rangi Huata, says visitors will be able to take part in a social game of rugby, learn a haka, help prepared a hangi and then take part in a feast.
He says the festival will have benefits for local communities as well as for visitors.
"We're working with groups in our communities that we've never worked with before, and it's already paid off for us because those links are now, I think, lifelong."
Mr Huata says each of the festivals being held over the next four weeks will include a themed fun park, so that families can play a variety of rugby-related games together.