Waitangi Day celebrations in Tauranga

Waitangi Day celebrations in Tauranga include a dawn service at Mount Drury and a festival at Tauranga Historic Village. Photo: Daniel Hines
A great range of hands-on workshops, exhibitions and live entertainment are planned for the Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Festival today.
The day begins with Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day dawn service at the base of Hopukiore - Mount Drury - to commemorate 181 years since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi.
The service will start at 6.30am with a whakatau by Tauranga Moana Tangata Whenua, followed by a community celebration, speeches and hymns. Speakers will include local elders, clergy from community church groups, civic leaders and youth speakers. An open forum will give everyone the opportunity to share thoughts on Waitangi Day and what it means to them today.
Kapa haka and musical performances will also feature during the dawn celebration.
Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Festival.
At 10am the Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Festival at the Tauranga Historic Village on 17th Ave begins with a welcome and flag raising ceremony.
Following the welcome will be live musical entertainment including Damo Innes, Laney Van Jaarsveld, Pow Wow, Soul Sax Plus, a Maori cultural group and DJ Chris Rapage. There will also be a Tae Kwon Do demonstration and plenty of workshops all day included a graphic artist demo, brush calligraphy, flute and poi making, using natural resources to create hairclips, bracelets and headbands. During the afternoon James Muir will speak on the Battle of Gate Pa and the Ngati Ranginui Treaty Settlement at the Village Cinema.
Four exhibitions at three galleries at Tauranga Historic Village will be open to the public all day.
The Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Festival is a family-friendly, free event and a donation or koha is welcome. The day is organised by He Iwi Kotahi Tauranga Moana Charitable Trust and Trustee Buddy Mikaere says the annual festival will be bigger again this year.
The festival runs from 10am – 4pm, Saturday, February 6, at The Historic Village.
At both the dawn service and the festival, if COVID-19 alert levels change, the event plans will be adjusted accordingly and the community advised. All attendees should scan in using the COVID tracer QR code posters that will be available at the events.
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