9 Feb 2017

Workshop to look at growth of kava culture in NZ

2:16 pm on 9 February 2017

A kava workshop in New Zealand will examine how different ethnic groups are adopting and adapting the culture around kava.

A tanoa (kava bowls) with a bilo (kava cup). Normally the lowliest person would serve kava to the circle.

A tanoa (kava bowls) with a bilo (kava cup). Normally the lowliest person would serve kava to the circle. Photo: RNZI/Daniela Maoate-Cox

The workshop at the University of Waikato in April will look at how non Pasifika groups are using kava as an alcohol substitute, stress reliever or sleep aid.

The University's Apo Aporosa said kava use is growing in New Zealand, with more than 20,000 people estimated to be consuming it each weekend.

He said it is a good time to bring people together to discuss the local kava culture.

"Until recently kava use by ethnicities other than Pacific Islanders was relatively rare but over the last few years I've noticed a real increase in other ethnicities even Europeans and that attending kava sessions and some of them then breaking away and forming their own kava circles in which they are replicating some of the Pasifika aspects of kava."

Dr Aporosa said kava will also be incorporated into the workshop welcome ceremony and talanoa discussion session.

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