Whitianga Scallop Festival 2014

prawn costumesSaturday, 6 September 2014

Location: The Esplanade, Whitianga

Event date: Saturday, 6 September 2014

Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, one of New Zealand’s most popular seafood events, the Whitianga Scallop Festival was held at Whitianga, Coromandel on Saturday, 6 September 2014.

Over 5000 people (local and international) braved the rain showers to sample the delicious cuisine, experience the local hospitality and enjoy the ambience the festival had to offer. Entertainment from iconic New Zealand performers, seafood cooking demonstrations from iconic NZ chefs and craft and information stalls rounded out another exceptional Whitianga Scallop festival celebration.

Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari saw this event as a great opportunity to:

  • raise awareness of Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari among the festival attendees, many of whom are likely to be users of the Gulf (Or at least consumers of its delicious seafood!)
  • engage, connect and to listen to people's stories, concerns and ideas
  • encourage people to sign up to the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari newsletter, so people could follow the ongoing mahi of the project and feed into the process to have their say.

The Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari team was issued a site at the top end of the craft stalls zone – which turned out to be the perfect spot to meet some local celebrity prawns! SWG members Joe Davis and Alison Henry joined project staff on the stand to chat with festival goers and sample a few scallops...

What people told usMap from scallop festival

  • 278 people took the opportunity to show us their favourite place in the Gulf by sticking a heart on one of our maps. (A parochial crowd buried Whitianga under a tsunami of hearts!)
  • 76 people signed up to stay informed by signing up to the project newsletter
  • We all talked our heads off, recording around 250 conversations in the seven hours the stand was open
  • 200+ brochures and posters went home with festival-goers.

Conversations at this event were animated and super-fun – possibly assisted by the beverages consumed at the festival!

The vast majority of people were incredibly positive about the project and and were keenly interested to learn more about the health and wellbeing of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park through the process of Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari.

Plenty of people also challenged us on aspects of what we’re doing. But in every conversation, one thing was clear: everyone who uses the Gulf wants the best for its future. That’s what we’re all about, so we value every conversation and comment – positive, negative or ‘yet to be convinced’.