Kaikoura Seafest

Kaikoura Seafest is ending. It’s been an incredible 23 years, with unforgettable memories, heartwarming support and more laughs than you can throw a crayfish at. Now it’s time to pass the baton to the next generation of events that celebrate our growing, unique and diverse region.

We feel we’ve accomplished what we set out to do: create national pride in our corner of Godzone whilst celebrating all it means to be a kiwi.

To all of our loyal supporters over the years, thank you for joining us on this journey and visiting Kaikoura, our region and yours.

MEDIA RELEASE: Monday 22 January 2018

The Board of Kaikoura Information & Tourism Incorporated (KITI) has recently undertaken a review of its marketing and promotion activities (as a result of post-quake planning) to help the organisation and District plan effectively for the future. Included in the review process was an evaluation of the event Kaikoura Seafest.

KITI Chairwoman, Julie Howden, said, “It was timely for us to review all aspects of KITI’s operation including Kaikoura’s signature Seafest event celebrating life by the sea. The event requires a significant amount of resourcing from a small team and volunteer base. When we looked at plans moving forward, the Board felt it was the right time to re-evaluate KITI’s position in the community.

Over the past 23 years the annual festival has evolved from a small local gathering to a nationally recognised event. Kaikoura Seafest has raised the profile and popularity of Kaikoura as a destination over the many years it has been operating. The passion, commitment and support of festival organisers and volunteer groups can take pride in the evolution of the festival for it to become the major event it has become.

Seafest has enhanced the region’s reputation as a great seafood, culinary and beverage destination. What has been particularly helpful is that Seafest is held in spring and supports off-peak visitation for seafood and culinary lovers, prior to the main visitor season kicking into gear. The decision has not been made lightly and we are very appreciative of the dedication from regular event attendees over the years.

“A shrinking volunteer base, increasing costs with decreasing profitability and the social implications of increasing alcohol consumption leads us to reach this difficult decision.  2017 was Kaikoura Seafest’s last year”.

Glenn Ormsby, Destination Kaikoura General Manager, said, “Seafest has been a major economic event for Kaikoura and it’s encouraging that despite a lot of rain during the October 2017 festival, we still managed to attract 4000 attendees and the event was a success. We’ve been supported by many stallholders and suppliers over the years and we’d like to thank them for their loyalty by supporting the event. We are mindful not having an event in 2018 could affect some businesses and organisations”

DESTINATION KAIKOURA CONTACT:  Glenn Ormsby   glenn@kaikoura.co.nz   027 547 9036.

EVENT CONTACT:   Sheena Hamilton  seafest@kaikoura.co.nz    0273221153

MEDIA CONTACT:   Janice Dreaver    Janice.dreaver@harcourts.co.nz   0272240549