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From your Mayor - 27 February

Mayor Anita Baker-extend-base-768x402px

With a record-breaking crowd of around 30,000 – roughly half our population – Porirua’s Waitangi Day festival this year further entrenched its status as the best and biggest gathering outside of Waitangi itself, with many visitors attending from outside the city. And what a day it was.

There was a great sense of community spirit, along with pride and even some defiance among those who see threats to the Treaty’s place in our national life, lending their support to local iwi.

It was also, as always, a wonderful showcase of Porirua’s diversity – young and old, Māori and Pākeha, new and long-standing migrant communities from the Pacific, Asia and beyond – celebrating side by side the unique blessings that come with living here. It’s good for the soul.

The roots reggae band House of Shem, the festival’s headline act his year, showed that, six years on from the sad passing of their pioneering member Carl Perkins, they can still deliver the goods for fans and newcomers to their music alike. Their set struck exactly the right notes and had the crowd humming on their way home.

Likewise, the Ngāti Toa Cultural Group and Te Kura Māori performed beautifully. If you didn’t make it this year, it’s definitely an event worth adding to your calendar for 2025 and beyond.

Meanwhile, local cafes are doing us proud in the annual Cool As Challenge ( which pits their best beverage concoctions against rivals in the Hutt.

You can show your support by enjoying any of the spectacular summer drinks – anything from a banana and avocado milkshake courtesy of IndoKiwi Dhaba in the city centre to a Caramel Expresso Chocoholic Shake at the nearby Jaylon Cake and Coffee House.

Vote for your favourites before 3 March using the QR codes on your smartphone.

27 Feb 2024