In a break with tradition, Hanukkah in Auckland was held this year at Okahu Bay, courtesy of local iwi Ngati Whatua. A large crowd gathered to enjoy a joyful celebration of music, dance, food and friendship. Ngati Whatua opened the Jewish celebration with a traditional Māori blessing, while Minister of Ethnic Affairs, Jenny Salesea brought greetings from the government and paid tribute to the 180 years of Jewish contribution to New Zealand. National Party MP Simon O’Connor also joined in the festivities, and National MP Alfred Ngaro participated in the ritual of lighting the candles on this the eighth night of the festival. The evening concluded with the hope of endurance against the odds and that light would prevail over darkness.