Ti rakau record attempt beats 2013

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 07/02/2014
pukaea

WAR TRUMPET: Horomono Horo blows the pūkaeā, it was used to welcome people and announce events or occasions of importance.

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It was a tall order to top Palmerston North's record for the most amount of people playing ti rakau at once - but we did it.

Thousands of people filtered through Te Manawa for Waitangi Day celebrations yesterday, including more than 400 people who played ti rakau, a Maori stick game, in sync.

Ti rakau involves people sitting in pairs and performing with sticks by tapping them together or on the floor, twirling or throwing them to each other.

Palmerston North's take on the popular Maori game saw hundreds twirling in time to the tune Tu Tira Mai Nga Iwi.

The city first attempted to set a record on Waitangi Day last year, with 340 people taking part.

This year's efforts went over that with the head count hitting 410 people, Te Manawa chief executive Andy Lowe said.

Waitangi Day was a chance to celebrate being a New Zealander and the country's shared heritage, Te Manawa's Te Ao Pritchard said.

"This is about bringing diversity and uniqueness together, learning how to co-exist."

Former Mana Tamariki teacher and the day's master of ceremonies Horomono Horo told the crowd it was a day to celebrate unity, knowledge and fellowship.

"We're all here as one big whanau, one big community . . . and when we talk about the true meaning of this particular day, Waitangi Day, whether it was in 1840 or here right now in 2014, it stays the same.

"We're all sharing in the celebrations and remembering the signing of the treaty, a document of peace between two cultures, and here we are years later continuing that commemoration with a day of togetherness."

Takaro School student Trent Mason, 12, said: "It's a happy day to spend with family and celebrate being a Kiwi."

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- Manawatu Standard

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