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New Records Set at Waitangi Treaty Grounds

New Records Set at Waitangi Treaty Grounds

NORTHLAND; Whangarei; Ngati Hine Health Trust, 9 February 2010

Maori health innovation combined with a competitive winning streak was the rallying theme for the inaugural Waitangi World Championships held at the top field of the Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Day celebrations this week.

The Waitangi Worlds 2010 provided the local community, visitors and International tourists with the chance to perform together to set a range of world-firsts at Waitangi.

Described as an example of Maori innovation and competitiveness at its best, Ngati Hine Health Trust CEO Rob Cooper praised the combined Maori Health providers of Taitokerau who staged the Waitangi Worlds. "Each year our teams set out to entertain and educate the thousands of people coming up to Waitangi. This year we combined our Maori health message with a competitive challenge to the people attending – "join with us to set the first-ever Waitangi World Record for Poi, Haka, Waiata and Mau Rakau and they did, with thousands participating”.

“Coincidentally, it is fitting that we launch the Waitangi Worlds in conjunction with the 70th Birthday of Ngatokimatawhaorua – our waka. At 12 tonne, she is the Guinness Book of Records title holder for the largest traditional waka in the world and today at Waitangi her ancestors launched another World Record for Waitangi” said Rob Cooper.

The World Record concept, created by Ngati Hine Health Trust manager Dallas Hibbs, was facilitated by the Ngati Hine Radio DJ's and staff of other Providers. Invited visitors and locals were called to the Waitangi Worlds Centre-Stage to participate in setting Waitangi World Records for Ukulele playing, Poi, Haka, Waiata and Mau Rakau. Participants were treated to a healthy packed lunch.

The haka resonated throughout the top field and could be heard hundreds of metres away. A visiting International tourist described the experience as "better than bungee jumping". Hans Van der Veer who took part in the Waitangi World Record Haka said “I've been a tourist all over the world but I've never experienced culture like this - it sounded like the earth was rumbling and I was in the middle of it". The minister of the Environment Hon. Dr Nick Smith and Mrs. Smith were welcomed participants.

The combined Maori Health Providers were delighted to see the diverse crowds enjoying the celebration of New Zealand’s nationhood. One of them said, “The benchmark for the Waitangi World Records has been set and next year's challenge is to beat the 2010 record. We delivered a message to the participants that competition is healthy. Being fit and healthy helps our physical and mental abilities. This is a classic example of “Whanau Ora”.


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