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Be a part of Auckland’s history this Waitangi Day

Ngati Whatua o Orakei
Auckland City Council
Joint media release

24 January 2008

Be a part of Auckland’s history this Waitangi Day

Aucklanders will have an opportunity to celebrate Waitangi Day at a festival that reflects the city’s history and is rich in culture, tradition, art, food and live entertainment.

Waitangi Day Festival '08 is an alcohol and drug-free family event, held on Wednesday, 6 February at Okahu Bay. This historical site is where Ngati Whatua o Orakei welcomed Governor Hobson in 1841 by gifting him all of the land now known as Auckland's Central Business District.

The festival opens with a unique re-enactment of Hobson’s arrival to Okahu Bay 167 years ago.

Classic yachts, The Ted Ashby and The Breeze, will sail Auckland’s key dignitaries from the Viaduct Harbour into Okahu Bay at 8.45am where they will be greeted by a group of waka ama and Sea Scout cutters (smaller boats).

The cutters will transport key dignitaries to shore, just as they would have in 1841, for an official greeting by warriors on the beach and a powhiri led by Ngati Whatua o Orakei at 9am. Members of the public are encouraged to join Ngati Whatua in this official welcome.

Entertainment will continue from 10am at Okahu Bay Reserve with the opening of food and craft stalls, the FLAVA FM 96.1 Kids Stage, children’s rides, and live entertainment from artists such as Ben Lummis, House of Shem, Ardijah and Cornerstone Roots.

Councillor Greg Moyle, chairperson of Auckland City Council’s Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee, says this is the first time in history that local iwi Ngati Whatua o Orakei and the Auckland City Council have partnered to host a free official Waitangi Day celebration.

“This festival will be an opportunity for Aucklanders to be a part of history, celebrating Waitangi Day in a way that is unique to our city and that honours the partnerships that Auckland was founded on,” says Mr Moyle.

Rangimarie Rawiri, secretary of the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board, says the event is an outcome of the positive relationship developed between the council and Ngati Whatua o Orakei over the management of Bastion Point

“It will be a momentous occasion for our people and all Aucklanders to acknowledge the joint founding of this nation and this city,” she says.

Organisers of Waitangi Day Festival ’08 will implement a zero-waste policy on the day to reduce the amount of waste disposed in landfill.

Over sixty volunteers will stay on the marae the night before the festival, before helping to reduce the environmental impact of waste by educating the public, separating waste and changing bins at the event.

Members of the public are encouraged to do their part for the environment by adopting a “pack in, pack out” attitude and taking their waste home with them.

Visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/events for more information as well as a map and timetable of the day’s events.


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