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Case stuy: Waipureku Waitangi Trust 2021 Waitangi Day commemoration in Clive, Hawke’s Bay

This event included a mass community hikoi (walk of unity), haka pōwhiri, whaikorero, waiata, refreshments, korero by local historians, free waka rides and re-enactments of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

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Case Study – Tauranga Moana 2020 Waitangi Day Dawn Service

An important event on the local calendar.

The Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Dawn Service has been running since the late 1970s, when it was initiated by local kaumatua and kuia and members of the Tauranga District Māori Council. An Organising Committee, with members from Tauranga City Council, Whareroa Marae Committee, Ngāi Tukairangi, Tauranga Moana Māori Wardens, Te Kohinga Network, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Tauranga Church Community, works to continue the tradition, recognising Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a significant part of Tauranga’s cultural heritage.

Crowd on a grassy bank at dawn
Photo credit: Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Dawn Service Organising Committee

Accessibility and inclusivity

Around 400 people gathered at Hopukiore this year to join the service. Special attention was paid to making sure kuia and kaumatua could easily access the site, and that they would be comfortable once they arrived.

The day’s celebrations began with a performance by the Ratana Band, who lead the opening himene. Local kaumatua Kihi Ngatai welcomed those gathered on behalf of the local iwi Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāti Pukenga.

What does Waitangi Day mean for New Zealanders?

After local dignitaries had addressed the crowd, and described what Waitangi Day means to them, the public were invited to share their own reflections on the significance of the day. Common themes included unity, peace, and moving forward together.

The Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Dawn Service is guided by the principle of whanaungatanga. The organising committee look to provide an opportunity for the Tauranga community to come together to commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in a positive and friendly environment.

Rangatahi involvement key to success

This year’s celebrations included a special focus on rangatahi involvement. Cale Borell and Ngawaiwera Ngatoko, both 2018 TUIA Rangatahi Leadership representatives, were the invited rangatahi speakers. Tamariki from Te Kura o Matapihi performed waiata. The Organising Committee consider rangatahi involvement one of the key successes of their event, and plan to continue to develop it in future events.

Building relationships in the community

The Organising Committee look forward to celebrating the Waitangi Day Dawn Service for many years to come. They consider it an important event on the local calendar: one that continues to build relationship in the community, develops local awareness of Waitangi Day and Te Tiriti, and celebrates positive partnership.

Case Study – Ngāti Kahungunu Waitangi Day Celebrations

The words Ngati Kahungunu spelt out in blocks in front of a stage
Photo credit: Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated

Promoting cultural diversity

When organising their 2019 Waitangi Day celebrations Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated had some key objectives in mind. They wanted to celebrate the Treaty of Waitangi and, in doing so, create pride in all New Zealanders. They wanted to provide a space for a positive interaction between Ngāti Kahungungu and the wider community by promoting cultural diversity while recognising the role of mana whenua. And they wanted their event to create an opportunity for the many communities of Hawke’s Bay to come together in celebration of themselves and in commemoration of the Treaty.

With these goals in mind Ngāti Kahungunu set about organising celebrations that would cater to the over 10,000 visitors who braved the rain to join them.

Wide tribal reach from Wairoa to Wairarapa

‘While our event is based in Hastings, our tribal rohe is from Wairoa to Wairarapa and we encourage as many of our Iwi members and wider community to attend. We promote our event as a celebration of our National Day and try to offer a range of entertainment that caters for everyone.’

For those who couldn’t be there on the day, the event was livestreamed on Facebook to more than 6,000 viewers.

‘We feel that the main reason why our event has great attendance is that it is a free to attend, the venue has lots of parking and there are a variety of activities available from the free show rides, onstage entertainment and a choice of sporting tournaments to participate in or watch.’

Local talent on display

The event had a focus on promoting and celebrating local talent. Musicians Aaron Edwards, Talitha Blake, Fraser MacKenzie and Blak Katz played and Te Aute College and Taikura Kaumatua Kapa Haka performed kapa haka. Speeches by local politicians addressed the theme of the opening ceremony: ‘What does the Treaty of Waitangi mean to me?’

Planning for next year

Ngāti Kahungunu believe that Waitangi Day commemorations are important, for they increase awareness of the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of our modern nation and enhance the mana and well-being of Kahungunu and the wider community. They plan to continue to bring Hawke’s Bay’s diverse communities together over kai, cultural performances, music and sports for many years to come, and planning is well underway for their 2020 celebrations.

Case Study – Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki Waitangi Day Celebrations

Mt Taranaki rising up behind some green fields and wooded area
Mt Taranaki. Photo credit: Jeremy Taylor (Flickr). Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Creating Conversations

The 2019 Community Korero Workshop Series, organised by Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki, aimed to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by delivering a programme that invited the community to have ‘creative conversations’ about the Treaty.

‘The opportunity for the community to have “creative conversations” in relation to the Treaty offers a flexibility and freedom to explore the kaupapa unrestricted by the fear of “getting it wrong”.’

What was the event?

122 people, ranging from rangatahi to kaumatua, engaged with the series of events, which included ‘Speed Date Your Way Through the Treaty: A practical way to meet and greet people who talk about how to honour the Treaty’ and ‘Workshop: 10 DIY Ways to Honour the Treaty in 2019’. The most popular event, ‘Popcorn and the Treaty’, included a screening of The Community Living Book: A film about Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Taranaki. The film was developed and launched by Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki in 2018, and features 19 local personalities discussing their personal reflections on Te Tiriti and how they honour it in their lives.

Having worked across the Taranaki region for over 30 years, Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki are sensitive to the specific needs of their community and were careful to cater their Waitangi Day commemorations to them.

Meeting the needs of the community

‘We have a collective experience that helps ensure we are always forward thinking and that we are committed to supporting the needs of whanau/community in all areas of our work, including community education projects like these. We are intergenerational and creative in our approach. We gather feedback from all of our events and programmes and use any criticism wisely. We continue to keep an ear to the ground in our community and where we see an opportunity to restore mātauranga we mobilise.’

Planning for next year

Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki plan to develop another programme of Waitangi events for 2020. They see a desire in their community for the continued support of diverse, creative, and educational activities that generate discussion and support relationship building under the theme of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Case Study – Chatham Islands Waitangi Day Celebrations

Children getting kai from open tent at the Chatham Islands Festival
Photo credit: Chatham Community Focus Trust

Bringing the whole community together

More than 1000 kilometres from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the Chatham Community Focus Trust, in collaboration with Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekuri Trust, held their Waitangi Day celebrations at Plum Tree.

What was the event?

Waitangi Day has been celebrated as a community event on the Chatham Islands for many years now. For the last two years celebrations have taken place as an outdoor community picnic.

‘The outdoor picnic works really well in this community and this is something that we will continue to do to make this day a success.’

Sheree Gay, who has organised celebrations for the last three years, describes the Chatham Islands Waitangi Day Celebrations as ‘an event that the whole community is invited to and come together for a relaxing family fun day and time for conversation and reflection on Waitangi Day’.

Over 70 community members gathered to commemorate the day at Plum Tree for celebrations complete with waiata, kōrero, kapa haka, activities—including a te reo Māori scavenger hunt and Waitangi Day quiz—and kai.

‘It gave our community the chance to celebrate and commemorate Waitangi Day together with friends and family.’

Tyranny of Distance

Organising community events can throw up a number of obstacles. The Trust encountered a not entirely unexpected problem: their geographic distance.

‘We had a few issues getting our supplies in from New Zealand but this is something that we on the island have to deal with all the time.’

Eco-friendly initiative

2018 marked the second year of the celebration’s eco-friendly initiative. Community members are asked to bring their own plates, cutlery and cups to reduce plastic waste.

The Chatham Islands Waitangi Day Celebrations have been consistently growing for a number of years. The Trust looks forward to continuing to plan their Waitangi commemorations, which will only get bigger and better in the years to come.

‘For me personally I have loved being a part of this event as it is very rewarding seeing the people in our community enjoying a day together and with purpose.’

Case Study – Kaikōura Waitangi Day Celebrations

Kaikoura coastline with some birds on rocks off the coast in the foreground
Photo credit: Bernard Spragg (Flickr) Public Domain. 

The Kaikōura Waitangi Celebrations 2019 were designed by Te Ahi Waitua ō Kaikōura after being inspired by the Waitangi Treaty Trails held in Cheviot in 2018. The day’s events began with the Kaikōura Treaty Trails and finished with food, music, and entertainment at Takahanga marae.

What was the event?

The 70 people who braved the rain to participate in the Treaty Trails visited six different stations around Kaikōura, where they learnt about the background to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, local history, and Māori culture. They were challenged to answer questions including ‘Who were the two men who translated the Treaty to te reo Māori?’ and ‘Who created the Hikurangi trench?’ as well as learn their pepeha and how to weave a harakeke putiputi. The final station of the trail was Takahanga marae, where the community was welcomed with a powhiri. Teams completed the race by signing a replica of te Tiriti o Waitangi on the marae.

‘The Treaty trails and “mock” signing of the Treaty impacted community by promoting a deeper insight of the signing of the Treaty, its history over the years to now and the variance in how Māori view te Tititi o Waitangi to non-Māori.’

Mātauranga for the community

Te Ahi Waitua ō Kaikōura designed their event with the intent of educating the community about the history of the Treaty of Waitangi, and hoped that it would promote an opportunity for people to think about what Waitangi Day means to them.

‘The event benefitted a sense of pride and togetherness for whānau that have disengaged with their own knowledge of te Tiriti. One whānau member shared that “I feel proud I got to celebrate Waitangi with my kids for the first time as I never really celebrated, because I didn’t know what it was about so I just took the day off’.”

Extra assistance was provided by volunteers who donated their time and local government, iwi, and community organisations which gave support.

Connection through education and awareness

‘Overall the event was successful in connecting many individuals and whānau across the community and groups are now considering how to make this continue to be a sustainable event. Community expressed their desire to celebrate Waitangi responsively through education and awareness.’