Waitangi Day commemoration near site of original signing

Waitangi Day commemoration near site of original signing

Another commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi will be held in Hawke’s Bay on Monday 6 February.

A commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi at Hawke’s Bay will be held again on the banks of the Te Awa o Mokotūāraro (commonly known as the Clive River) on Monday 6 February.

This is near Waipureku, the place where three chiefs – Te Hapuku, Hoani Waikato and Harawira Mahikai Te Tātere – boarded HMS herald on June 24, 1840 and signed the treaty under the watchful eye of the emissary Major Thomas Bunbury.

Morning events begin at 7.45am with a karakia at Ātea a Rangi, the Heavenly Compass at Waitangi Park, Awatoto, followed by a ‘Hikoi [walk] of Hope’ along Te Awa o Mokotūāraro, to the Haka Pōwhiri of Mana Whenua in Farndon Park at 8.30am.

People are welcome to participate in the pōwhiri whether they have walked or not.


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Iwi Kaumatua, descendants of the signers of Te Tiriti in Waipureku, MPs, local mayors, chairpersons, city councilors and staff, and members of the public are expected to attend the memorial service.

After the pōwhiri, dignitaries are invited to speak about the significance of the day and the place. Historian Pat Parsons will speak, as will Keith Newman and Martin Williams.

The morning will conclude with a contract workshop hosted by Tāwhana and Robin Chadwick.

Hastings Borough Councilor Ann Redstone, chair of the Waipureku Waitangi Trust, which organizes the event, said they expected crowds to exceed the hundreds who attended the event before Covid restrictions. Sponsors were provided by Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.


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“This event was first organized by Jim and Marie Edwards more than 20 years ago, with rides in the mighty Waka Ngā Tukemata o Kahungunu being a central feature. However, the condition of the river has stopped this, although Waka Taurua have remained an important part of the commemoration,” Redstone said.

“With iwi organizing a much larger family celebration later in the day at Miter 10 Park, we focused on creating an opportunity to commemorate the signing of the contract and reflect on what this means for us as a contractor.

“We hope that this commemoration will bring us closer to ‘He iwi kotahi tātau,’ a statement made in February 1840 about striving as one but respecting one another’s mana and identity to build a nation .”

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