News | 28 January 2020

Celebrate our national day Te Rā o Waitangi in the park

Celebrate our national day, Te Rā o Waitangi, at Waitangi Park on Thursday 6 February with kai, kapa haka and waiata for the whole whānau to enjoy.

A hongi, traditional Māori greeting, between two children.

The popular Waitangi Day celebration marks the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi with entertainment and activities, including a great line-up of award-winning Māori performers, family-friendly fun, hāngi, a choice of food trucks, plus a kapa haka group.

The programme starts with an opening blessing by Te Ātiawa Taranaki Whānui, followed by performances from crowd favourites including Ria Hall, Newtown Rocksteady, and Mara TK.

Māori Partnerships Portfolio Lead, Councillor Jill Day, says Te Rā o Waitangi in Waitangi Park is significant for a number of reasons.

“We launched our Te Tauihu policy in July 2018, recognising the status of te reo Māori as a taonga of iwi Māori, while celebrating and supporting the revitalisation of the language within Council events and activities, and around the capital – and this event, in this location, perfectly aligns with that.”

Local musician Mara TK says he’s really looking forward to performing on Waitangi Day in his hometown.

“Waitangi Day is for me one of our most important national holidays. It’s one of the things that we got right in founding this country, so I’m just happy in the first instance that we celebrate the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Wellington crowds are slightly daunting to perform in front of though, because they’re all intelligent consumers of music. But they can listen with their hearts too, meaning that you don’t have to play perfectly, you just have to be sincere, and a Wellington crowd will usually dig on that.”

The Māoriland Film Festival will also present a programme of short films followed by New Zealand favourite, Hunt for the Wilderpeople at Waitangi Park on Wednesday 5 February as part of Waitangi Whānau Film Night.

Te Rā o Waitangi 2020 | Free entry

When: Thursday 6 February 2020

Time: 12 noon–6.30pm

Where: Waitangi Park