Hokonui Moonshiners Festival

The $5,000 grant will be used to fund a road show exhibition kit designed to highlight the history of moonshine in the area and the various attractions of the event.

Melissa King from the festival’s organising committee says they are delighted to receive the funding from the Mazda Foundation.

“The Hokonui Moonshiners Festival is a great event that attracts a large number of local people. With this generous funding from the Mazda Foundation we aim to encourage more Kiwis to come and embrace our heritage and celebrate our unique culture and Moonshining past.”

The festival is held annually in late February and is a highlight on Gore’s event calendar, attracting locals and international travellers alike.

The event celebrates Southland’s illicit past and the legend of ‘Hokonui Moonshine’. The legend comes from the early Highland Scottish settlers who flaunted Southland’s early prohibition laws by making their own illicit whisky. Today, elements of traditional recipes and southern game are assembled to give event visitors a taste of true Celtic/South Seas fusion with a hint of days gone by.