Waitangi Day 2020 will take on special significance next year with a day of ceremony and celebration at The Historic Village.
Organised by Ngati Pukenga ki Tauranga Iwi Trust in conjunction with other organisations, the celebration will acknowledge Tauranga’s shared identity and feature a citizens’ ceremony.
“He iwi Kotahi 2021 is an opportunity for us to both commemorate the signing of the Treaty and acknowledge and embrace Tauranga’s multi-cultural, multi-ethnic makeup,” explains organiser Buddy Mikaere.
“The main emphasis of the day will be on celebrating our multi-cultural community with narrative around continually seeking ways to build our unity and draw strength as one people.”
The 2020 celebration will open with a traditional Maori welcome and also feature a citizens’ ceremony for Tauranga’s newest Kiwis.
Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell says it will be an honour to be a part of the day.
“Waitangi Day is a particular opportunity to draw together and build stronger unity and respect across all sectors of our community.
“It will be a privilege to stand on the stage at the celebrations and welcome our newest citizens. It’s all about Tauranga Together – Kotahitanga.”
The day will feature a special session on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6, 1840, and include local artisans, musicians and performers on the stage outside The Kollective, at The Historic Village.
“Central to the day will be Maori arts and cultural performances, music, an Indian dance troupe and more,” says Buddy.
“We will also have a series of workshops where you can learn about the traditional and modern techniques of other cultures, take in a flax-weaving session or learn basic Te Reo. It will be a magic day where the public can come along with their picnic rug and relax on the Village Green.”
The People’s Gallery will be hosting a curated exhibition and The Incubator Creative Hub Director Simone Anderson says they will have free demonstrations and hands on interactive Toi Māori art workshops to engage children and families.
“Experienced and respected Māori tutors/practitioners will be engaged to share their skills whilst incorporating values such as tikanga (protocols), whakawhanaungatanga (togetherness), manaakitanga (support), and mahi toi (the arts).
“Only through understanding and respect can we truly begin to grow as one people.
“Waitangi Day is the perfect opportunity for us all to come together and take another step forward towards greater unity. It’s particularly fitting that The Mayor will be conducting a citizens’ ceremony before a crowd of fellow citizens that are also celebrating Aotearoa.”
He iwi Kotahi – One People runs from 10am – 5pm on February 6, 2020 at The Historic Village with entry by gold coin donation.
A free shuttle bus will operate from the Elizabeth Street car parking building to the Historic Village from 9am to 5pm.