A big line-up of entertainment is promised for this year’s district-wide Waitangi Day celebrations at Whakarongotai Marae in Waikanae.
This will be the sixth formal Waitangi Day event organised by the Council and local iwi in Kāpiti. Previous events have been circulated between the three iwi: Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, and Te Āti Awa Ki Whakarongotai.
2013 marks the 173rd anniversary of the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi – which brought together representatives of the British Crown and more than 500 chiefs from around the country. Waitangi Day was first officially commemorated in 1934, and it has been a public holiday since 1974.
Chair of the Waikanae Marae Trustees George Jenkins says the day provides an opportunity for all New Zealanders to come together and acknowledge and celebrate their heritage in a spirit of unity.
“Those who have visited Whakarongotai will probably remember the pou Te Puna o Te Aroha at the front of the marae – the woman has a white dove of peace in the left hand and the right is extended in welcome. This is a symbol for how we want our visitors to see us,” he says.
The event is open to everyone and is a chance for people to gather for an entertaining and relaxing day, and also learn more about Te Āti Awa, the history of their ancestors and their settlement in Kāpiti.
“Everyone is welcome. We’re encouraging people to come on the train – all they have to do is cross the road and get into Marae Lane and they’re there.”
The day will start with a 10am Pōwhiri followed by formal speeches and an exciting line up of entertainment that runs until 4pm.
The line-up of entertainment includes: Tūmeke Kaumātua Group, Hikawera Ferris (NZ X Factor contestant), Jahnetix, Mere Ropata-Box Haka Boogie songs, Chant Down, Graham Rikihana, Pa Boys, Tamahae Elkington, Vintage, Wairere Ropata, and IWI.
A new brochure for newcomers to Kāpiti will also be launched and blessed on the day. Tāngata Whenua ki Kāpiti – People of the Land, is aimed at people wanting to know more about the history and culture of Māori in Kāpiti.
The booklet has been produced by the Council with involvement from Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti and funded through Immigration New Zealand. Copies will be available at the Marae and afterwards at libraries and in Council service centres.