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Waitangi Day Invitation Extended to Prime Minister

Waitangi Day Invitation Extended to Prime Minister Helen Clark
6 February 2000

Okahu Bay, Tamaki Drive, Auckland

A special Waitangi Day invitation has been extended to Prime Minister Helen Clark from organisers of several Waitangi Day events in Auckland.

This includes a church service at 10.00 am at the Wesley Methodist Church in Mt Roskill - the centre of Prime Minister Clark's Mt Albert electorate.

One of the organisers, Waiata Artists Trust, says they made the invitation after reading negative reports about official celebrations in Waitangi.

Spokesman, Will Ilolahia, says they aim to make their Auckland celebrations relaxed, non-confrontational and embracing.

"The church service will start with a powhiri followed by prayers from the congregation and music from Tongan and Chinese Methodist choirs," says Ilolahia. "We will also invite the Prime Minister to speak. She's also been invited to a 'One Love NZ' day at Okahu Bay in Auckland in the afternoon."

The 'One Love NZ' day is the first Waitangi Day celebration to be held at Okahu Bay on Tamaki Drive in Auckland. As well as stalls selling arts and crafts, there will be a 'One Love' concert to commemorate Bob Marley's birthday which falls on 6 February. This is an annual event organized by Catalyst Trust.

"In the past, these events have attracted the largest and most friendliest crowds on our national day," says Waiata Artists Trust organiser . "We'd like to give the Prime Minister a chance to break the mould and celebrate the day differently. Why not go into the year 2000 celebrating our national day in a truly positive way instead of in a place which has previously been unwelcoming to her? We would definitely welcome her with open arms."

The 'One Love NZ' Day is being hosted by Ngati Whatua o Orakei at their historic tribal site in Okahu Bay. The event is a joint venture between Waiata Artists Trust and Catalyst Trust Inc.

Ends

For more information contact:

Alec Hawke (09) 377 6347

Will Ilolhaia (09) 629 0826


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