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Commemorating Te Rā o Waitangi / Waitangi Day in Whakatū 26 January 2024

On Te Rā o Waitangi / Waitangi Day, come to Whakatū Marae and Founders Heritage Park to learn more about our shared history and experience Te Ao Māori / Māori culture.

Delivered in partnership with Ngāti Koata and other iwi representatives, the day will be full of fun, whānau-friendly activities with traditional Māori art workshops, entertainment including local kapa haka and Pasifika groups, kai, and stalls featuring traditional art and crafts.

In previous years, Waitangi Day was recognised at Founders with the International Kai Festival. This year will have more delicious food options than ever before with 70 stalls spread across the two sites, including a hāngī - traditional Māori food cooked beneath the ground—at Whakatū Marae.

Ngāti Koata Pou Whakahaere (General Manager) Turi Hippolite says “Ngāti Koata is thrilled to host this year's Waitangi Day celebrations in collaboration with the Nelson City Council at Whakatū Marae.

"Waitangi Day holds significant historical and cultural value for Māori, and it serves as a nationwide occasion for all New Zealanders to contemplate the nation's history, present, and future, emphasising unity, collaboration, and mutual respect.

"We extend a warm invitation to everyone to join us at the marae for a delightful experience featuring cultural performances, meaningful discussions, and delicious kai. Nau mai, haere mai – all are welcome."

All koha received from the marae will go towards Natureland.

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“I am so pleased that Ngāti Koata has volunteered to host the commemoration of Waitangi Day at Whakatū Marae,” says Nelson Mayor Nick Smith.

“It had fallen into abeyance for a few years following the disruptions from Covid. It is an important event to help Nelsonians, new residents and visitors understand our unique Treaty history and to experience marae protocol.

“Treaty issues are becoming increasingly polarised nationally, and we need to work hard at building good relationships locally. We have the advantage, as a smaller community where we know each other well, of just getting on doing the practical stuff together that benefits all.”

Commemorations will begin at 9:00am with a pōwhiri at Whakatū Marae. Members of the public are invited to attend this rare opportunity to experience a traditional Māori welcome ceremony. Te Matahiapo Safari Hynes (Ngāti Kuia) will be presenting on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

From 10:00am, the movie What Really Happened: Waitangi will play repeat in the Energy Centre at Founders. The film tells the story of an imaginary reporter who travels back in time to cover the days leading up to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Also on the schedule is special guest performer Jordyn with a Why (Ngāti Koata, Tainui Āwhiro ki Whaingaroa) whose R&B/neo-soul inspired bilingual music tells the stories of language reclamation, identity and cultural heritage.

Entry to the event is with a gold coin koha (donation) which will be collected upon entry to the marae and Founders.

When: Te Rā o Waitangi / Waitangi Day Tuesday 6 February

Where: Whakatū Marae and Founders Heritage Park, 9am-3pm

Cost: Koha (gold coin)

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