Waitangi Day festival an elemental experience

21:41, Feb 11 2013
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COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Taylor Edwards, Jade Gifford and Kataraina Parekura show off their temporary mojo tattoos during the Festival of the Elements at Te Rauparaha Park.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Finlay Robertson performs for the judges during the talent quest of the Festival of the Elements.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Rogan Te Teite, 8, masters his handstand technique during the Festival of the Elements at Te Rauparaha Park.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Karin Jones, puts the finishing touches on her wind inspired stature made from recycled materials.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Joel Briggs from Porirua shows off his recycled flying machine sculpture during the Festival of the Elements.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Sisters Bridget, 7, and Elsie McKenzie, 11, lend a hand to create a sculpture by hacksawing some number 8 fencing wire.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Vili Talaepe and daughter Peka, 3, enjoy the sights at the Festival of the Elements at Te Rauparaha Park.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Grace Gates, 12 from Tawa, shows off her shaved ice cone during the Festival of the Elements.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Hanna Greenham, 5, tries her luck with the clowns during the Festival of the Elements.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Deja Wineera, second from the right, lets her limbs fly as she rides the 'Scream Machine' during the Festival of the Elements.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Nimesha Tissera, right, from the Sri Lankan Dance Academy performs during the Festival of the Elements at Te Rauparaha Park.
COLOUR & THE SHAPE: The crowd enjoys the good weather during the Festival of theElements at Te Rauparaha Park, Porirua.
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COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Zac Gillon, 10 from Paramata, carefully moves a lego figurine as he makes a stop-motion animation film during the Festival of the Elements.
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COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Skateboarder TeAriki impressing in the skate jam contest.
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COLOUR & THE SHAPE: The Wellington Chinese Sports and Cultural Centre Dragon Troupe.
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COLOUR & THE SHAPE: The Nga’have Wha group performing on the main stage.
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COLOUR & THE SHAPE: Jude Pointon making her own art using lei’s at Pataka.

The Porirua community celebrated Waitangi Day with colour and creativity at the annual Festival of the Elements at Te Rauparaha Park.

Punters enjoyed treats and attractions.

Event co-ordinator Margaret Armour and her team faced a couple of anxious days earlier in the week, trying to set up amid regular downpours and strong winds.

"It's the most challenging conditions we've ever faced with the set-up," she said.

But on the day, the winds eased and the clouds parted mid- morning.

The crowd built slowly to begin with, Ms Armour said, but by the afternoon, the park, Pataka and recreation centre were hives of activity.

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The Porirua Arts Council event, established in 1990 - originally as a biennial festival - traditionally draws a crowd of about 30,000. Organisers estimate this may have swelled to 35,000 this year, with much stronger numbers than normal on hand to watch headliners, such as Ranea Aperahana and The Laughing Samoans, in the evening.

The winner of the sculpture competition was Royden Ekman from Whitby, with Chris and Joe Davidson of Plimmerton placing second, and Jules Hunt and Coral Lace from Woburn third.

The talent quest was was won by Abigail Kempf, who recently moved from Timaru to Titahi Bay. Jane Lafaele and Peter Briggs were second, and Sarah Whittaker of Whitby third.

The Festival of the Elements was staged from a budget of about $140,000. Its financing is "still very tight" says Ms Armour, but connections ensure the most is made of every dollar.

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