Waitangi Day 2019: Commemorations held throughout New Zealand

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Dawn Service at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds on Waitangi Day.

Festivals, live music and history tours are among the ways people are marking Waitangi Day.

Official commemorations began before sunrise on Wednesday at Waitangi's upper marae with a prayer from the prime ministers of both New Zealand and Samoa.

Hundreds gathered at the upper treaty grounds in Northland before dawn, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and other MPs.

Aucklanders can enjoy Waitangi Day celebrations at Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden (file photo).
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Aucklanders can enjoy Waitangi Day celebrations at Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden (file photo).

People flowed into the upper marae where Ardern led a prayer as part of the service, while others sat in overflow seating in the early-morning air.

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But celebratory events are taking place across the country. Here's how you can mark the day.

Waitangi Day attendees enjoying blue skies at the beach beside the lower marae.
AMANDA SAXTON / STUFF
Waitangi Day attendees enjoying blue skies at the beach beside the lower marae.

NORTHLAND

A free public festival on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is on all day.

It starts at 5am with a traditional Dawn Service and continues until 7.15pm.

Hundreds of people attended a dawn service at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds on Waitangi Day.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF
Hundreds of people attended a dawn service at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds on Waitangi Day.

The day will include live music and performances, market stalls, children's rides and a bouncy castle.

A waka will be on the water throughout the day, including an appearance of the world's largest canoe, Ngātokimatawhaorua.

There will also be free entry to the Kerikeri Mission Station on Waitangi Day.

People can visit the museum, or go on a guided tour to hear about missionary families that lived there and chief Hongi Hika - their host and protector.

It will be open from 10am until 5pm with guided tours at 11am and 2pm.

AUCKLAND

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, along with Auckland Council, will celebrate with a "free, fun and informative" day at Okahu Bay.

The event begins at 10am with a Māori welcoming ceremony and ends at 3pm with a karakia.

The event will have New Zealand musicians performing live on the stage with a range of food stalls, arts and crafts and interactive games for all to enjoy.

Event-goers are asked to bring along a picnic blanket.

Waitangi@Waitii will take place at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland's Glen Eden from 9am until 5.30pm.

The free event features local and international musicians, food stalls, and activities for children.

It is a strictly smoke, drug, alcohol and rubbish-free event.

Another free Waitangi Day event will beheld at the Manukau Sports Bowl Greyhound Racing Club, in south Auckland, from 9am until 5pm.

Attendees will be able to visit the Waitangi village to taste Māori and Pacific kai, learn about the significance of the treaty, and learn new Māori words.

Live music will be on throughout the day until the closing karakia.

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