‘Whakarongo ki te tai e papaki ana’ — Listen to the sounds of the changing tides (news and information was always received and disseminated on the high and low tide)
– Nā Wi Parata Te Kākākura
Waitangi Day 2021 marks 181 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February, 1840, and for the first time in Kāpiti, the day will be commemorated online from Rangiātea Pastorate Church in Ōtaki.
Chair of Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti Rupene Waaka says the Waitangi ki Kāpiti online commemoration acknowledges the significance of the day in a way that can be safely shared by locals as well as whānau who can’t easily travel home this year.
“With COVID-19 still very much an evolving situation, we have decided that gathering together this year is not a risk we are willing to take. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate together,” Mr Waaka says.
“Our virtual commemoration allows our wider community the opportunity to experience and understand Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its relevance within our District, and our hope is that we will reach whānau huri noa te motu, huri noa te ao (around the country and around the world),” he says.
The online commemorations include a video series exploring what Waitangi Day means to different people living in Kāpiti, an online Waitangi Day welcome and karakia, and a live stream of the special commemorations at Rangiātea Pastorate Church in Ōtaki from 3 to 4pm.
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan says the Waitangi Day livestream will be delivered in partnership with Rangiātea Pastorate Church and Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti, a partnership between tangata whenua and Council.
Rangiātea’s special place
“Rangiātea Pastorate Church holds a very special place in our district’s history and it is an honour to be granted permission to livestream the opening address,” Mayor Gurunathan says.
Rangiātea Pastorate Church is the oldest Māori Anglican Church in Aotearoa, completed in 1851.
The original church was built under the direction of the Ngāti Toa Rangatira Chief Te Rauparaha and Octavius Hadfield. The church’s construction symbolises the partnership between Māori and non-Māori and weaves together both Māori and English design.
“Waitangi Day is a time for acknowledging our past but it must also be a time to challenge our present, and a time to be collectively hopeful about our future,” Mayor Gurunathan says.
“I encourage you to watch and share this kōrero and start a discussion with your whānau and friends about Te Tiriti and what it means to Kāpiti.”