Record-breaking Waitangi Day

04:08, Feb 01 2013
Te Manawa
WELL PREPARED: Aaron Karamaena, left, and Manu Kawana practise their ti rakau routine ahead of Wednesday’s world record attempt for the most people taking part in the traditional Maori stick game.

Memories of playing ti rakau, a Maori stick game, in primary school will come flooding back when Te Manawa attempts to set a world record on Waitangi Day.

The museum is hosting Palmerston North's Waitangi Day celebration for the first time with festivities to include an attempt to set a record for the most people doing ti rakau simultaneously.

"We're really looking forward to it, we're very pleased to have been given the opportunity to run Waitangi Day at Te Manawa," communications manager Danette Whitehouse said.

Ti rakau is a stick game that involves people sitting in pairs and performing with sticks by tapping them together or on the floor, twirling or throwing them and passing them to each other. It is often taught to children at primary school.

The world record attempt will take place at 2.30pm, with members of the Te Tu Mataora kapa haka group on hand throughout the day to help teach people the routine.

That routine, which accompanies the song Tu Tira Mai Nga Iwi, was created by Te Manawa's kaihautu or person in charge of Maori affairs, Manu Kawana.


Mr Kawana said the routine mainly used simple, traditional, techniques, though he had thrown in one harder move.

"It's a way for people to come together, families to come together, and to enjoy the day," Mrs Whitehouse said.

Mrs Whitehouse said Te Manawa would be able to accommodate several hundred people, mainly through the use of rolled-up magazines as makeshift ti rakau sticks. "People are welcome, if they have their own sticks, to bring them."

Waitangi Day at Te Manawa will include live music, kapa haka, stalls, back-of-house tours of the museum, activities and games.

Mr Kanawa said a hangi for 600 people would be prepared off-site, and other food options would also be available.

Waitangi Day at Te Manawa runs from 10am till 5pm on Wednesday.

Manawatu Standard