The FINANCIAL — Air New Zealand has given international travellers at Los Angeles International airport a taste of traditional Matariki celebrations, complete with a hangi for 400 people cooked on site.
The day of celebration was hosted by Air New Zealand Cultural Ambassador and the airline’s Kapa Haka team who staged a series of events to greet and farewell Air New Zealand flights throughout the day.
The performances culminated in a show-stopping moment when the baskets of steaming hangi food were chanted though the Terminal 2 building to the Koru lounge where Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe hosted a function for several hundred guests including Los Angeles city councillors, Kiwi actor Temuera Morrison and the airline’s most frequent LA based customers.
Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe said, “This is a great way to bring the unique flavour of Kiwi hospitality to life for our passengers. Our people and culture are two of Air New Zealand’s greatest assets. Matariki is a fantastic opportunity for us to share that with international travellers, helping them understand the unique characteristics that make our airline different.”
Air New Zealand Cultural Ambassador Andrew Baker said the public response to the Matariki celebrations was fantastic.
“LAX is one of the world’s busiest airports and we brought Terminal 2 to a standstill. We wanted to showcase our culture – including the story of Matariki and our Maori kai – in an unexpected way and people were just blown away by it.”