At a time when the world feels chaotic and poor mental health affects 28 percent of our society, there’s an event happening on a beautiful piece of land in Kaipara that may inspire people to feel more centered, take a breather, learn something new, listen to some of Aotearoa’s best music, and meet like-minded people.
Taking place from 9-12 March, NZ Spirit Festival is a Kiwi take on the popular family-friendly wellness festival’s that grew out of Bryon Bay and Bali. It fuses ancient practices, and healing modalities, with music and dancing. The festival location provides an opportunity for attendees to ground themselves on a majestic piece of the newly acquired land, custom-made into a new music and festival venue for Auckland.
Part of that NZ Spirit festival experience is four days of being alcohol and drug-free within a vibrant celebration of well-being in all of its forms. Along with plenty of music.
NZ Spirit Festival Director Franko Heke (Ngā Puhi), is a musician himself and experienced his own transformation from a drug and alcohol-riddled lifestyle. He grappled with control of his mental health issues, finally discovering meditation and wellness modalities like yoga and breathwork. 10 years later, he has driven the vision and purchase of the farms totaling 340 acres and is leading the mission of regenerating former goat and dairy farms. He has turned it into a venue that anyone can rent, with plans for a farmers market, cafe, and eventually a retreat centre.
Heke is convinced that health is the new wealth “Four days of being sober and present, experiencing all the workshops we offer means people leave revived and ready to take on life’s challenges”, he says. “Everyone leaves with new learnings and friends – they feel part of an inclusive community. We see so many people become more committed to looking after themselves better once they have experienced it for themselves”.
Heke says it is a transformative experience and encourages people to give it a go. “Change it up, check out our alcohol, drug, waste-free, family-friendly camping event – everyone is welcome”.
Festival programme highlights:
Deya Dova (Aus)
James Reid (The Feelers)
Renee Stewart (UK) – Renee is a 500 Hour Yoga & Meditation teacher sharing the yogic teachings & practices that anchor us into our being. Weaving her dance and yoga experience, Renee’s classes offer you a combination of both movement and mindfulness with the breath being the key guide throughout her classes.
Marcel Hof (NL) – Marcel Hof trained for 25 years in nature with his brother Wim Hof (Iceman) exploring the boundaries of physical and mental possibilities.
After almost dying under the Ice, he discovered what total surrender is. Now from the insight of what he calls the formless form, he began working with this principle. He also works with hypnosis, attention, focus, trance and voice, to heighten the vibration and always works from intuition.
Bruce Lipton Ph.D (USA) – an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. Stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.
Ninakaye Taanetinorau (NZ) – 21 years clean from drug and alcohol addiction and work in the NZ sex industry, Ninakaye Taane-Tinorau has been moving audiences globally as both a captivating public speaker and skilled MC, sharing insightful gems of courage, resilience and transformation from her colourful life’s journey.
In her day job, Ninakaye manages major NZ artist and producer Tiki Taane (also her brother), is a Trustee of the Maori Music Industry Coalition and mentors via the Aotearoa Music Managers Forum. Ninakaye facilitates workshops in ‘Professional Respect: Sexual Harm Prevention’ both within the music industry and the screen sector, and shares ancient Egyptian wellbeing and transformation practice via her Kemetic Yoga training.