The Six Best Things to See and Do in Wellington This Waitangi Day
Head to a free whānau-friendly music festival and watch a collection of eight Māori films.
As this Waitangi Day marks the 180th anniversary of the historic signing of the Treaty of
Waitangi, we have gathered several options for those wanting to do more than sleep-in on their day off.
The organisers of Māoriland Film Festival have put together a short collection of eight Māori films for a Waitangi-eve event, which will conclude with Taika Waititi's beloved Kiwi film Hunt for the Wilderpeople. The films will be played at Wellington's Waitangi Park on Wednesday, February 5, from 6pm, so grab a picnic blanket, pack a basket and enjoy some Kiwi creativity.
Wellington's waterfront will play host to the capital's council-led Waitangi events, first at Te Wharewaka o Poneke, from 10am, and then at Waitangi Park from midday (12pm). Musical acts set to take the stage throughout the afternoon include H4LF CĀST, Amba Holly, Ria Hall, and Tunes of I. Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna (featuring students from the Wellington Māori immersion school) will also perform, along with Mara TK, and Mark Vanilau (the latter of whom plays keyboard in Dave Dobbyn's band, as well as being an impressive soloist in his own right).
Just north of the city, in Porirua, will be the annual screeds of Waitangi music, stalls, talks and other activities. Held at Pātaka art gallery, and nearby Te Rauparaha Arena, the event will start at 11am. Hosted by Ngāi Toa, the day's offerings include waka trips in the Pōrirua Harbour, children's activities including traditional Māori games, performances including the Modern Māori Quartet, and talks about the Treaty of Waitangi. There will be plenty of food trucks and other stalls, and the events will run from 11am to 4pm.
Out in the eastern suburbs will be Kōtahi 2020, the free, whānau-friendly Waitangi music festival held at Kahurangi School in Strathmore Park. The lineup for the day includes the Kahurangi School kapa haka, Tiki Taane, Ria Hall and Laughton Kora (of Kora). Gates open from 2pm.
For those feeling like a roadtrip out of the city, Masterton will play host to WaiFest on Waitangi Day. Featuring performances by headliners Herbs Acoustic, and Maisey Rika, the event will begin at 10am. It will be held at Masterton's Queen Elizabeth Park.
The National Library of New Zealand, along with Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision, will be screening two historical Waitangi films on Waitangi Day, along with tours and talks. Those who visit the library will get to see the original Treaty, have a tour of the He Tohu exhibit about Te Tiriti (the Treaty), and hear acclaimed author and storyteller Apirana Taylor. Both talks will be hosted at He Matapihi on the ground floor. The historical films include one of the first official Waitangi Day celebrations held in 1934, and another featuring other Bishop Whakahuihui Vercoe, in 1990, talking about the previous 150 years since the signing of Te Tiriti. They will screen every half hour from 9.30am. The 20-minute tours of He Tohu will also run every half hour from 9:30am. There will be bilingual tours at 11am and 2pm.
Published on February 04, 2020 by Greta Yeoman