News | 26 January 2023

Celebrate Te Rā o Waitangi with two whānau-friendly events

This Te Rā o Waitangi head to Waitangi Park for two free, whānau-friendly events in commemoration of Aotearoa’s national day.

Performers on stage at Waitangi Day event

First up, pack a picnic, bring a blanket and round up friends and family for Whānau Film Night on Sunday 5 February at Waitangi Park for an evening of Māori and Pacific short films, followed by feature movie 'Whina'.

The following day, Te Rā o Waitangi 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 and activities, food trucks and stalls, and the always popular hāngi – so get in quick!

Mayor Tory Whanau says the day is significant for many reasons.

“The Treaty recognises the history and connection between Māori and Pākehā, and this event acknowledges that with a positive and engaging experience,” she says.

“It also aligns with our Te Tauihu policy, Tūpiki Ora Māori strategy, and Tākai Here agreement in recognising the status of te reo Māori as a taonga, the value of our combined cultures, and the relationship that binds us all.

“Also, this event is a fun and entertaining day with a great vibe, sights and sounds – and I can’t wait for the hangi!”

Whanau film night showing Hunt for the Wilderpeople at Waitangi Park

Wellington City Council Event Coordinator Suzanne Tamaki says Te Rā o Waitangi and Whānau Film Night are the perfect finale for some tu meke events in the capital.

“That week, Ed Sheeran will play at the Stadium, Fat Boy Slim and Sol3 Mio have gigs at Anderson Park, and then there’s a great mix of talent performing on stage for Te Rā o Waitangi – including award winning locals Tunes of I, Toni Huata with the Aotearoa Allstars, AJA, Tararua Taonga Puoro, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna, and Amba Holly.

“If music isn’t your thing, the hangi is always a highlight amongst all the amazing kai available, and there’ll be all sorts of other entertainment happening throughout the day – so there’s something for everyone.”

There’ll also be waka tours, waiata and kai at Te Wharewaka o Pōneke at Whairepo Lagoon as it celebrates 12 years on the site.

Te Papa is also hosting a free Waitangi weekend Māori music showcase featuring local Māori language artists and special guests.

With so much going on, the city will be busy, so where possible it’s recommended to leave your car at home and bike, walk, scoot or take public transport to events. Check out metlink.org.nz for public transport information.

Whānau Film Night

Āhea | When:  6pm–9pm, Sunday 5 February 2023

Ki hea | Where:  Waitangi Park, Wellington waterfront

Te utu | Cost:  Free

Te Rā o Waitangi

Āhea | When: 12 noon–6pm, Monday 6 February 2023

Ki hea | Where: Waitangi Park, Wellington waterfront

Te utu | Cost: Free