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Auckland Events Planned For Waitangi Day

Auckland Events Planned For Waitangi Day.

Press Release 2 Friday 25 January 2002


Three Auckland landmarks - St Matthew's-in-the-City, Aotea Square and Auckland Public Library - will be the venues for some of this year's Waitangi Day celebrations. Events include a spiritual commemoration, TV panel discussion, live music, speakers, drama, arts and crafts, foodstalls and a special film screening.

The events are being staged by Waiata Artists Trust and the Tamaki Treaty Workers. Waiata Artists Trust has produced Waitangi Day events in Auckland since 1996. Each year, morning services have been held at St Matthew's-in-the-City followed by an afternoon of music and performing arts at selected locations around Auckland. In the past this has included poetry nights in K'Rd and a One Love reggae concert at Pt England Reserve.

This is the first year Waiata Artists Trust has teamed up with the Tamaki Treaty Workers - a regional network of treaty and anti-racism activists and educators. Groups represented by the Tamaki Treaty Workers include the Pakeha Treaty Action, Combined Churches Programme on Racism, Manukau Institute of Technology and the Kotare Education Trust.

"We are pleased to be working with a collective that's been dedicated to educating New Zealanders about the Treaty for nearly two decades," says Waiata Artists chairman, Will Ilolahia. "Every year it gets harder and harder to promote the celebration of Waitangi Day because New Zealanders just don't seem interested anymore. Joining up with the Tamaki Treaty Workers will help consolidate our efforts."

The spiritual event at St Matthew's-in-the-City will be opened at 10.30 am by Reverend Ian Lawton followed by the reading of the Treaty of Waitangi. Former Methodist Synod President, Reverend Tavake Tupou will then chair a panel discussion about the Treaty featuring representatives from the Race Relations Office, ten major ethnic groups in Auckland, and renowned sportsman and former Aotearoa Award winner, Michael Jones. The discussion will be interspersed with music performances by Lapi Mariner, the Chinese Methodist Choir and jazz singer, Peta Siulepa. Free refreshments will be served afterwards.

Celebrations will continue with the "Treaty in the Square" event at Aotea Square that begins at midday. Musical entertainment includes ska band 'Roofdog', Pacific Island music group 'Kingdom', Angela Afeaki and other jazz and pop artists.

Auckland City Councillor, Dr Bruce Hucker, and Network Waitangi's Karen Way are part of a guest-speaking lineup for a public political forum at the square. The Academy Cinema at the Auckland Public Library will also be screening Maori filmmaker, Merata Mita's film, 'Bastion Point - Day 507'.

"It is time there were more public events in Auckland City on Waitangi Day," says Joan Macdonald a member of the Tamaki Treaty Workers group "We have supported Waiata Artists Trust at St Matthews in the past, but for the last few years many of us have also supported the people at Waitangi. This year we would like to encourage more acknowledgement, in Auckland of the importance of this day."

A full list of events can be viewed on Waiata Artists' website at

For more information contact Waiata Artists on (09) 629 0826 or the Tamaki Treaty Workers on (09) 360 8001.

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