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Waitangi Day in Porirua – a nui celebration

Waitangi Day small

Nau mai, haere mai – all are welcome at next year’s Waitangi Day in Porirua City. The day will celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and be themed around Te-Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and waka ama.

Porirua City hosts New Zealand’s largest Waitangi Day celebration outside Waitangi itself and has previously attracted around 30,000 visitors annually.

Mayor Mike Tana says in 2018 the festival will have a new location and focus.

“We’re launching a new event, which will focus on the Treaty of Waitangi and our harbour. We’re going back to the essence of what Waitangi Day is all about and celebrating what makes us unique as a country and as a region,” says Mayor Tana.

“We will celebrate our relationship with Ngāti Toa under the Treaty of Waitangi – a partnership that we reaffirmed earlier this month. Waitangi Day is also a celebration of our cultural diversity and what it means to be a New Zealander.”

The day will be staged on and around our waterfront. Festivities and activities will take place along Wineera Drive, at parts of Whitireia Polytechnic and at Takapūwāhia Marae.

“We’re proud to partner with Ngāti Toa and Whitireia Polytechnic to make this event happen.”

The day will feature lots of family-friendly cultural experiences with marquees, a main stage for entertainment and quality food vendors – all with a zero waste kaupapa.

There’ll be 100 waka out on the water, with waka tours and te reo Māori waka tours as well. On the day, bilingual signs will be in place to direct people and a “Mahi Toi” marquee will focus on tangata whenua creating Māori art, craft and design. There’ll also be a “Made in Porirua” marquee highlighting local Porirua businesses.

Artists and taniwha will feature at the festival creating an environment of wonder and excitement for all to enjoy.

Ngāti Toa Rangatira kaumatua Taku Parai is looking forward to the celebrations.

“It's a celebration of what our ancestors signed in 1840,” says Mr Parai.

“We’re one of the cities that celebrate Waitangi Day really, really well. Our people will get in behind it and support it, big time – whether it's story telling, art, weaving, kapa haka, music and song or waka.”

The celebration of Waitangi Day 2018 will open at 10am, with the main stage starting at 10.30am and close at 5pm.

4 Dec 2017