Waitangi festival fun for families

16:00, Dec 19 2012

The Waitangi National Trust programme for the Waitangi Festival celebrations in February emphasises family fun.

February 5, Waitangi has Talent

The Treaty Grounds will be hosting a range of events.

From 10am mau rakau demonstrations - martial art, based on traditional Maori weapons - will be held in front of the carved meeting house.

From 10am, the Kerikeri Creative Fibre Group will demonstrate spinning, spindle spinning, weaving, felting, tapestry weaving and knitting in the Treaty House courtyard. Visitors can try their hand at felting.

From 3pm to 5pm Waitangi has Talent finalists can practise on the waka stage.


Budding artists can upload videos on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds Facebook page where friends and family can vote for their favourite acts.

The practice is open to the public. Food and drinks will be available.

From 4.45pm to 5.15pm is the New Zealand Navy Beat the Retreat at the Treaty Grounds flagpole, with the Navy Band concert and marching followed by the lowering of the flag.

From 6pm to 8pm Waitangi has Talent finals. The 10 finalists will battle it out for the first prize of $1000, second prize of The Rock Overnight Cruise for two, and the third prize a tandem parasail for two with Flying Kiwi Parasail.

Contest judges are Ria Hall, Vodafone 2012 music album of the year winner and Kereama Te Ua one of New Zealand's premier hip-hop dance and theatre choreographers.

The third judge is comedian and actor Andre King. Waitangi has Talent is an all-ages, alcohol-free event.

February 6: Waitangi Day: A clean, green family day

Waitangi Day starts at 5am with the dawn service in the carved meeting house. At 10.30am there will be a church service at the waka shelter.

Between 15 and 20 waka will be on the water throughout the day. During high tide in the early afternoon Ngatokimatawhaorua, New Zealand's largest ceremonial canoe, will make an appearance - depending on the weather.

Throughout the day there will be continuous entertainment at the waka stage and flagpole areas at the Treaty Grounds and at the trust sports field across the road.

There'll be market stalls with art, craft, clothing and a variety of food.

Children's activities including a bouncy castle, touch games and the Fire Service Combat Challenge will be held on the sports field. The Ngati Hine stage will feature some of Northland's top hip-hop talent.

At the flagstaff area, the Navy Band will perform from 11.30am followed by the 21-gun salute at noon. At 12.15pm there will be an aerial display by the RNZAF aerobatics flying team, the Red Checkers.

From 12.30pm to 4pm Northland's top kapa haka groups will be performing - Hatea, Muriwhenua, Hokianga, Te Puu Ao, Taiamai and the Treaty Grounds group Te Pito Whenua.

At the waka stage entertainment will start at noon.

Six acts will perform throughout the afternoon.


The programme for Waitangi Day celebrations at Te Tii Marae is expected to be finalised this week, depending on arrival times of dignitaries, including the governor-general. Discussions at the forum tent this year are expected to be heated with issues such as the failure of the Maori Council to stall state asset sales and delays in Ngapuhi hearings causing tension. The High Court decision ruled in favour of the Crown over water rights which means the Government can proceed with its assets sales programme. Waitangi Tribunal stage two hearings of Ngapuhi claims for settlement of Treaty of Waitangi grievances were expected to begin mid-2012 but have been delayed until 2013.