An evening featuring New Zealand’s top contemporary Maori fashion designers is to be staged by two of Rotorua’s major tourism attractions.

In all 22 designers from Rotorua and around New Zealand will combine in an event titled Tiki Ahua – Ka Mura: Set Alight on September 24 at Te Puia one of the city’s major geothermal attractions.

Te Puia’s sales and marketing manager, Kiri Atkinson-Crean, says an exciting part of this event is not only the incredible contemporary fashion, but also the presentation of traditional Māori arts such as tā moko, pounamu and bone carving.

“All are then thrust into a pretty glitzy high fashion environment.”

The evening will showcase day, street, evening and avant-garde designs, jewellery and adornment including tā moko (Māori tattoo).

Tiki Āhua artistic director, Turanga Merito – who is otherwise known for his role as Simba in the international Lion King stage show – has assisted the designers in showcasing their visions.

“I am excited as the artistic director to be able to bring a night of fire, love, and magic to my hometown, Rotorua,” Merito said. “This event is more than a fashion show – it is the coming together of our indigenous culture and the stories of exceptionally gifted designers, fused with the buzz and high fashion spectacle of a New York or Paris runway.”

There is a five-year vision for the event to grow from a one-night spectacle, to a week-long festival.

The national centre for Māori arts and crafts is the other major player in the event.