Fair fun for all as community celebrates together

By Amy McGillivray

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Tauranga residents turned out in force to enjoy the city's first Waitangi Day community fair.

The fair, organised by the Tauranga Maori Business Association, was held in Papamoa yesterday.

Papamoa resident Rozanna Waiari decided to make the most of the day off and take her children along to join in the festivities.

"We don't generally do anything on this day it's just a day off. We thought why not come and celebrate Waitangi Day with the community," she said. "I think from now on if there's something on we'll participate."

The children were having a great time meeting friends, soaking up the sun and tasting the food on offer, she said.

Clive and Glennis Hilditch were also making the most of the sunshine and looking around the festival.

"I think it's wonderful. I just love getting out and feeling the atmosphere of it all. It's really nice," Mrs Hilditch said. "We've got to support local businesses."

Event organiser and Tauranga Maori Business Association chief executive Buddy Mikaere said the day was going well even early in the day.

"We did this to try and put a positive spin on Waitangi Day and because Tauranga doesn't really have anything on after the dawn service. And it's good to be able to do something for the community," he said.

"The association supports the idea of Waitangi Day as a celebration in which all New Zealanders can participate. For that reason, the theme of the community fair is taken from the words spoken by Governor Hobson at the signing 173 years ago: 'He iwi kotah-i One'."

Bands Left Hand Break, the Kouger Sisters, Spirit of Prophecy and Cicada Circus as well as dance troupes from Urban Dance and Zumba Tauranga and local kapa haka group Te Whanau Mai Tawhiti entertained the crowd.

Entry to the event was by gold coin donation with all proceeds going to the Papamoa Surf Club.

Mr Mikaere said this year's event was an experiment to see if it could become an annual event.

The annual dawn service at Mt Drury was attended by about 300 people of all races and ages who rugged up against the early-morning chill.


 

- Bay of Plenty Times

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