Waitangi Park Memorial, Clive. Photo: Florence Charvin

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

Hastings District Councillor Ann Redstone, chair of the Waipureku Waitangi Trust, which organises the event says it is hoped this commemoration “will bring us closer to ‘He iwi kotahi tātau’, a statement uttered in February 1840 that is about aspiring as one, but respecting the mana and identity of each other toward nation building.” 

The morning’s events begin at 7:45 am at Ātea a Rangi, the Celestial Compass in Waitangi Park, Awatoto with karakia, followed by a Hikoi (walk) of Hope along Te Awa o Mokotūāraro, to the haka pōwhiri by mana whenua at Farndon Park at 8:30 am. 

 This is close to Waipureku,  the site where three chiefs, Te Hapuku, Hoani Waikato and Harawira Mahikai Te Tātere boarded the HMS Herald on 24 June 1840 and signed the Treaty under the watchful eye of emissary Major Thomas Bunbury. 

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

Iwi Kaumatua, descendants of the signatories of Te Tiriti at Waipureku, Members of Parliament, local Mayors, Chairs, councillors and staff, and members of the public are expected at the commemoration. 

 After the pōwhiri, dignitaries will be invited to speak on the significance of the day and site. Historian Pat Parsons will be speaking, as well as Keith Newman and Martin Williams.

Tina Ngata, environmental, indigenous and human rights advocate will deliver a keynote speech on co-governance, followed by a Treaty workshop hosted by Tāwhana and Robin Chadwick.

“This event was first organised by Jim and Marie Edwards over 20 years ago, with rides in the mighty waka Nga Tukemata o Kahungunu a central feature,” says Redstone. “However, the state of the river stopped this although waka taurua have remained an important part of the commemoration.

“With the Iwi organising a much bigger family festival later in the day at the Mitre 10 Park, we have focused on making an opportunity for remembering the signing of the Treaty and reflecting on what this means to us as Treaty partners.”

Sponsorship for the event has been provided from Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Eastern and Central Community Trust and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome to have a hikoi and a pōwhiri to begin this special day. Thanks so much to the Waipureku Waitangi Trust for all the planning, organising and hard work behind the scenes.

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