Successful Bluff Oyster Festival

The Bluff Oyster and Food Festival gates opened on Saturday 23 May and more than 4,000 festival-goers checked out the delicious kaimoana (seafood) that was on offer.

Ngāi Tahu Seafood were among a list of organisations that helped to sponsor this year’s event.

A group of Ngāi Tahu Seafood, Ngāi Tahu Holdings and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu staff travelled down to Bluff to help man the Ngāi Tahu Seafood stall.

This year the team sold an array of tasty kaimoana – seafood platters, which included kōura; fresh or beer-battered Bluff oysters, blue cod and kutāi (mussels).

Ngāi Tahu seafood domestic sales manager Ken Gray says they have been involved with the festival for more than five years and for the last four years they have supported the Bluff Netball Club by giving them a donation in return for help with running the stall.

Ken Gray and Ngāi Tahu Seafood chief executive Campbell Cave enjoying the festival.

Ken Gray and Ngāi Tahu Seafood chief executive Campbell Cave enjoying the festival.

Ken says this year, around 28 Bluff Netball Club members were there to lend a hand and assist at the stall.

“Ngāi Tahu Seafood support the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival because we have such a big footprint down in Bluff. There are a lot of the fisherman and whānau in the area, so we like to support the Bluff community and fly the Ngāi Tahu flag,” he says.

Ken says every year the Ngāi Tahu Seafood stall is a hit with the public and this year they have already received encouraging feedback from those who attended.

“Our stand was probably one of the biggest and busiest ones there.”

As well as being able to sample a range of foods, festival-goers were treated to local and national musical entertainment, and oyster-opening and oyster-eating competitions provided great entertainment throughout the day.

Ngāi Tahu Seafood employee Shane Wixon’s skills were on display as he won the men’s oyster-opening competition with a time of 2 minutes and 38 seconds, and the title of fastest blindfolded oyster-opener.