Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waitangi Day 2012

Dave Brennon, Leader of Pounamu Ngāi Tahu, who performed on the day.
On Monday, we celebrated Waitangi Day in New Zealand -  February 6th, 172 years after the signing of the country's founding document, The Treaty of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, Northland, in 1840. As usual, there were organised official and social celebrations throughout the country. I went along to the Ngāi Tahu celebrations at Kaiapoi (although Ngāi Tahu's official celebrations were this year staged at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff).
The Kaiapoi celebrations at Trousselot Park, took the form of a light-hearted re-enactment with a signing of the Treaty of Tuahiwi. Dozens of locals came in period dress and Pounamu Ngāi Tahu entertained the crowds with a Māori cultural performance. I've selected a few photos to show something of the mood of the day.
Waiting with Mum before the show
Always a surprise when 'a colonial' uses a modern camera.
Traditional Ta Moko
Performing for the crowds
The weather at Kaiapoi was baking hot on the day but locals relished the chance to forget earthquakes for a while, and to lounge about in the sun, thinking their own thoughts about the Treaty and what it has meant for their lives.


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