Toffee apples, dancing toddlers and Taranaki music kept hundreds entertained on their extra day off.
Puke Ariki landing was packed with people yesterday afternoon celebrating Labour Day at an event called The Big Day Off.
The family event included a line-up of live music and the Taranaki talent was enough to get four-year-old Madeline Davidson up on her feet.
Madeline spent the afternoon dancing and was enjoying being out in the sunshine.
The budding dancer worked up an appetite from all of her moving and shaking and refuelled with some chicken chips.
"Then I'm going to do more dancing," she said.
Three-year-old Sophia Scott was enjoying some chocolate in the sun, while she waited for her six-year-old brother Jacob to get his face painted.
Sophia was wearing pink wings and had her face painted like a butterfly.
"I can fly," she said.
Madeline and Sophia were not the only little ones enjoying the fun. Hundreds of children jumped through bouncy castles, had their faces painted and chowed down on toffee apples.
Sharren Read, principal of Waitara Central Primary School, gave up her day off to emcee the event and said she was pleased to see so many parents had taken their young children out for Labour Day.
"It's been great down here today. It's an occasion for family and whanau to enjoy a day off together," she said.
Mrs Read said despite the event, run by Unions Taranaki, being free for everyone some people were still unable to go.
"We all know someone who is working on Labour Day, so maybe we have to re-examine what Labour Day is all about in New Zealand," she said.
Peter Conway, secretary of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions spoke at the event and said although the day was fun filled there was a serious message behind the celebrations. "Unions have done a lot, but there's a lot of work left to do.
"Our living wage campaign has really gained momentum, which is good because this is the sort of country that should be able to pay a living wage," said Mr Conway, who came from Wellington for the event.
Ray and Jenny Mayall, from Bayleys Beach in Dargaville were in New Plymouth for the long weekend and were walking along the foreshore when they heard music coming from the landing.
"This is just fantastic, what a good idea. New Plymouth's a great city," Mr Mayall said.
His wife agreed and said the couple were so impressed with the region, they had decided to move here as soon as they could find a house to rent.
"We've already sold up in Dargaville, so we'd been looking for a new place to move to. New Plymouth is that place.
"Hopefully there's lots more events like this," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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