2024 Waitangi Day event a celebration of unity

March 20, 2024 |

 On 6 February Te Puia | NZMACI opened its doors to hold its first Waitangi Day event, welcoming locals and kiwis to learn more about Māori culture and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The event was a great success, with manuhiri commenting on the inclusiveness of the event, as well as the manaakitanga and focus on whānau. Pre-sales of 850 tickets sold out before the event, with another 400 tickets sold on the day.

NZMACI general manager Eraia Kiel says it was great to have such a packed house and showcase Māori culture in such an interactive way.

“It was great to be able to share our culture with our own people as they came to celebrate Waitangi Day. Everyone was engaged, celebrating who we are, the culture and this really important day.

“Waitangi Day has taken on a deeper significance this year with everything that’s been happening around the country. Toitū Te Tiriti has taken on a whole new meaning, not just for Māori but for non Māori as well, and it’s been beautiful to see non Māori on Waitangi standing alongside us and reflecting on what this partnership means.

“Here at Te Puia and NZMACI we’ve been doing that since tourism first started here back in the late 1800s and we’re really proud to be carrying on that responsibility and legacy to share our culture with the world.

“This year especially, we’re extremely proud to be celebrating 60 years of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Act, and 60 years of promoting, protecting and perpetuating our culture for the nation.”

Special events on the day included Pā activities, tītī tōrea, poi and haka lessons, and kirituhi face painting, with a taonga market and rides through the Valley to see Pōhutu Geyser.

NZMACI held demonstrations of weaving, wood carving, stone and bone carving, with talks about 60 years of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Act and its legacy, as well as cultural performances. Delicious kai was also available at a street food market.

Te Puia | NZMACI Pou Taahu Te Waata Cribb held seminars on te Tiriti o Waitangi and local Kate Burke said “I was impressed by the presentation on the Tiriti. I learnt new information and increased my understanding of Te Ao Māori.  I really liked the way history; world view and concepts were presented”.

The Waitangi Day Evening Concert included some of New Zealand’s foremost musicians and entertainers, headlined by legendary band Cairo, and also featuring Te Puia’s own Toru Mio.

Feedback from manuhiri highlighted a huge appreciation for the inclusiveness of the event and incredible hospitality, which provided a great opportunity and setting to learn about Māori culture suitable for all ages. The welcoming atmosphere that focused on unity and whānau was another highlight of feedback received from those on the day.

Comments also included appreciation for the delicious kai and strong community spirit.

Te Puia | NZMACI look forward to hosting the community again in 2025.