25 Jan 2012

Ngapuhi festival begins tonight

6:43 am on 25 January 2012

Ngapuhi chief executive George Riley expects more than 40,000 people to attend the iwi's annual festival, which opens on Wednesday night at Northland College in Kaikohe with a showcase of art.

Mr Riley says the festival, which has both commercial support and backing from the Ministry of Arts & Culture, is extra special this year.

He says some Ngapuhi taonga from both Auckland War Memorial Museum and Otago Museum will be on display for the first time, with a self portrait bust of Hongi Hika of particular interest.

Mr Riley says the pressure is going to be those attending the arts festival, who want to make a purchase.

Given the quality of works on sale, he says 90% of them are expected to be snapped up in a couple of days.

The entertainment side of the Ngapuhi festival begins on Saturday.