Despite the gloomy weather, lots of people turned up for yesterday’s Waitangi Day commemorations at the Ōtaki Māori Racecourse.
“A big thank you to Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki for hosting the commemorations which were a great fusion of our different cultures,” says Mayor K Gurunathan.
“There were lots of things to see and do and people seemed to really be enjoying themselves. A highlight for me was watching Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow playing reggae songs on the keyboards with my son Ari and others in Zeal’s music box which was launched on the day. Another big thanks must go to Koro Don and the council’s Te Waka group who supported us so well at the event.”
Entertainment on the day was provided by local bands Hottie and Under the Sun, along with musician Sianne Dougherty. There were also sites of significance bus tours, a photographic exhibition and art displays, giant inflatables and other kids’ activities, the opportunity to take an electric car for a spin, plus food, art and craft stalls.
“We were delighted to commemorate Waitangi Day with our community and to welcome everyone to Ōtaki,” Rupene Waaka of Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki said. “It was an awesome day and we’re proud of the way we shared our history and culture with people who came to the event.”
Local Caz Bartholomew, at the event with her husband and three children, said she thought it was important “to be connected culturally with events like this”.
“It’s a nice, safe setting for families where kids can learn stuff about their culture – they’ve been having a great time today!”
The council and local iwi have been co-hosting Waitangi Day commemorations since 2002.
7 February 2017