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Hoani Waititi Marae hosts public on Waitangi Day

Media Release
7 February 2005

Hoani Waititi Marae hosts public on Waitangi Day

Waitakere City Council and Hoani Waititi Marae hosted over 500 people to celebrate Waitangi Day yesterday.

The open day at the Glen Eden Marae included a formal powhiri (welcome), cultural performances from the Cook Islands, Somalia and Thailand and a shared meal. Rangeview Intermediate Maori Culture Group also provided performances throughout the day.

Leading Maori educationalist Dr Pita Sharples formally welcomed visitors to the marae and explained the intricacies of Maori protocol and the history of the marae.

Dr Sharples was to attend celebrations at Waitangi but chose to be in Waitakere celebrating with the local community instead.

Mayor Bob Harvey acknowledged Dr Sharples and the work of the marae. “This marae has done a tremendous amount. You cannot underestimate what Pita Sharples has done. He could be somewhere else, but he is here with us today, in the sweltering sun with our new migrant friends. I feel enriched by you all,” he said.

The day finished with the public dancing to Somali music inside, after rain dampened the afternoon but not the spirits of those in attendance.

20 people attended a smaller ceremony held at 9.30am in Waikumete Cemetery for Charles Oliver Davis (aka Hare Rewiti), an official translator for the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1842.

--ends—

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