Entertainment | Waitangi Day

Thousands gathered for biggest Waitangi festivals in the motu

Urban Māori organisations Whānau Waipareira and the Manukau Urban Māori Authority (Muma), together with Auckland Council brought thousands of people together yesterday with free concerts across Tāmaki.

At the Manukau Sports Bowl, whānau were treated to entertainers such as Savage, Che Fu & the Kratez, Annie Crummer and Lost Tribe Aotearoa.

Newly elected MP for Tāmaki Makaurau Takutai Moana Kemp was in attendance and says coming to community events in her rohe is a no-brainer.

“This has been my home and my heart for the last 30 years living here in South Auckland,” she says.

“I love being a part of our community. I love being back out here with our whānau, and I’m here today to celebrate with our whānau here in South Auckland.

Because of growing numbers, Waipareira moved the event from Hoani Waititi Marae to the park next door. Last year more than 50,000 people enjoyed the day’s celebrations, with even more this year.

Auckland Council culture and identity lead Mels Huata-Lucas says the days should be treated more as a commemoration than a celebration.

“It’s a celebration of our culture, but a commemoration of what this day represents. We have a tent here to speak on that matter from your heart for anyone who wants to share their whakaaro on that.”