Waitangi commemorations, hosted by the Whakarongotai Marae Trustees under the rangatiratanga of their local iwi Te Āti Awa in partnership with Kāpiti Coast District Council, will be held on Saturday 3 February at Whakarongotai Marae, Waikanae, between 10am and 5pm.
Whakarongotai Marae Trustee Chair Lois McNaught says this Te Puna o Te Aroha, The Wellspring of Love community event is open to all and will provide an opportunity for people to reflect on what it means to be a New Zealander – past, present, and future.
“We’re pleased to recognise and commemorate with our community the unique role, characters, and local stories specific to Te Tiriti,” says Kuikui Lois.
“The day will provide a great opportunity for Uri (descendants) of the original owners of the Ngārara whenua (land) and others, to learn about the tūpuna (ancestors) of the Marae and whakapapa, as well as the local contribution and environment at the time of Te Tiriti signing.
“May 1840 was a significant time regarding signatories to the Treaty on the Kapiti Coast. Beginning with our Chieftainess Rangi Topeora who signed Te Tiriti on Mana Island on 17 May 1840. Followed on the same day by Te Rauparaha, Matene Te Whiwhi, and Tamihana Te Rauparaha who signed it on Kapiti Island.
“Two days later, on 16 May 1840, twenty Te Āti Awa Tūpuna signed Te Tiriti in Waikanae.
“Eight Rangatira signed in Ōtaki on 19 May 1840 and another two signatories were added on Motungarara Island on 4 June 1840.
“On Mana Island, 19 June 1840, Te Rauparaha was asked to sign again, accompanied by Te Rangihaeata.
“This Saturday, our Waitangi Commemoration event will begin with a Mihi Whakatau at 10am on Whakarongotai Marae. Those wishing to participate in this part of the day are asked to gather at the Marae gates in Frater Lane at 9.30am. There they’ll be briefed about how our Manuhiri (visitors) will be brought onto the Marae and on our Kawa (protocols) and Tikanga (appropriate practices and behaviour).
“At approximately 11am, we’ll have kapa haka performances, live solo and band entertainment, and tāmariki (children’s) activities. Historical storytelling will begin in the Whare Taonga around 12 o’clock, while High Tea will be available between 11.30am and 3pm for a koha (donation). A Hāngi (also available for a koha) will be lifted at 3pm.
“There’ll be a few food trucks and stalls available throughout the day, making our Waitangi Commemorations a truly whānau-friendly affair.
“It’s times like these we reflect on the Whakatauaki of our Rangatira, Wi Parata Te Kākākura. Whakarongo ki ngā kupu o Ngā Kaumātua, Kākahutia i runga i a koe, mau e hoatu ki Te Ao. Learn the wisdom of your elders, apply it to yourself and pass it on. This sharing of our history is symbolic of what we want to achieve through our community event.”
Kāpiti Coast District Council Mayor Janet Holborow says Council is a committed Te Tiriti partner and are proud to be supporting Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai with their Waitangi Commemorations.
“This is a day when we can connect as a community and reflect on the history of mana whenua in our district and across Aotearoa,” says Mayor Holborow.
“It’s also a time to reflect on Council’s relationship with mana whenua, and how we can continue to strengthen our commitment to working together for the benefit of our diverse community and our environment.
“This event is open to everyone, so bring your fold out chairs, picnic blankets, sun hats and refillable water bottles and enjoy a memorable day of connection, community and learning.”
For the full day’s programme and further details, please visit the Te Puna o Te Aroha – Waitangi Commemorations Facebook event post found here.