Family and unity reflected in Waitangi Day
FLORENCE KERR AND JEREMY SMITH
Waitangi Day means family and unity to people who attended celebrations as well as the launch of the Waipa District's 150th anniversary at Lake Karapiro.
Mark and Di Davies and their two children attended the Waipa District Council-organised celebrations and were thrilled to celebrate their first Waitangi Day.
The family, who moved to Cambridge from Britain three weeks ago, described New Zealand's national day as "exquisite". "We know it's a treaty that the Maori people signed with the whites so there wasn't a repeat of what happened with the Aborigines and Red Indians," Mrs Davies said.
"We want to learn about the Maori culture, it's very beautiful."
Misa Teomatavui and his family, from Te Awamutu, arrived in New Zealand from Samoa nine years ago.
Mr Teomatavui said the day was about commemorating the Treaty of Waitangi but also spending quality time with his family.
For Waipa resident Matt Robinson, Waitangi Day is about unity.
"Waitangi for me means bringing together both cultures as one."
The celebrations at Lake Karapiro began at 10am and continued through to 8pm. Council events co-ordinator Benjamin Hemi said more than 3000 people attended the celebrations, which included rippa rugby, football, sandcastle building, dog agility and BMX riding.
The evening concert saw performances from local bands including 100 Proof, a band of Waipa District Council staff who are the 2012 Waikato inter-council Battle of the Bands winners.
Mr Hemi said the day was about the community. "One is to celebrate Waitangi Day, and the other is to showcase that we in Waipa are one community, coming together and celebrating that unity."
- Waikato Times