Multicultural Waitangi Day celebrated in Auckland's Browns Bay community

Multicultural kapa haka group Te Herenga o te Kotahitanga, opened the day's festivities.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Multicultural kapa haka group Te Herenga o te Kotahitanga, opened the day's festivities.

Under the warmth of a beautiful summer's day, over 200 members of Auckland's Browns Bay community turned up to watch Maori, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean cultural groups celebrate Waitangi Day side by side.

Leading the inaugural celebrations was newly formed, multicultural kapa haka group Te Herenga o te Kotahitanga, which translates to mean the weaving of unity.

The kapa haka group was formed in November, 2016, through the East Coast Bay Community Project.

Flags represent the diversity welcomed at the festival today.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Flags represent the diversity welcomed at the festival today.

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Group facilitator Alohilani "Lani" Ormsby says the group is about showing that unity, despite the differences in culture, values and principles, is possible.

"The majority of people in this community are not Maori, and there is a lot of curiosity around culture," Ormsby said.

"It is one of our principles of Maori to be humble and respectful of visitors."

Lucas Raynes, 5, left, and his brother Nicholas, 6, have fun playing with the toys provided by East Coast Bays Community ...
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Lucas Raynes, 5, left, and his brother Nicholas, 6, have fun playing with the toys provided by East Coast Bays Community Project.

One way we can do this is through the sharing of knowledge and culture, and each member of this kapa haka group represents a strand of this goal, she says.

Flax-weaving, poi-making, tai chi demonstrations, and an abundance of toys were available for families to enjoy, before tucking into some homemade hangi.

East Coast Bays Community Project helped organise the event.

An Indian cultural group delights the crowd with their colourfully energetic dancing.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

An Indian cultural group delights the crowd with their colourfully energetic dancing.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board member Christina Bettany said, in her address to the crowd, the day was an excellent way to celebrate, in a multicultural way, the doors that were opened with the treaty.

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Te Herenga o te Kotahitanga welcomes all new members of any culture or expertise.

Contact zahvanya@hotmail.com.

Te Herenga o te Kotahitanga on stage during the opening ceremony.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Te Herenga o te Kotahitanga on stage during the opening ceremony.

 - Stuff

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