Thousands will enjoy events planned for Treaty Grounds

While politics and protest take up much media coverage of Waitangi Day commemorations in the Bay of Islands, for the vast majority of visitors it's all about having fun, with Macklin Wilson, 12, all smiles as he spun around on one of the rides at Waitangi Day last year on the Treaty Ground. Photo / Michael Cunningham
While politics and protest take up much media coverage of Waitangi Day commemorations in the Bay of Islands, for the vast majority of visitors it's all about having fun, with Macklin Wilson, 12, all smiles as he spun around on one of the rides at Waitangi Day last year on the Treaty Ground. Photo / Michael Cunningham

While the political machinations at Te Tii Marae, TPP hikoi and protest will take much of the media attention in Waitangi for Waitangi Day commemorations over the next two days, the vast majority of the 30,00-plus visitors will be nowhere near the lower marae.

For most the commemorations are all about fun with the Waitangi Treaty Grounds the focus of two days of events.

To help you plan your day away from the politics here's a guide to what's going on at the Treaty Grounds tomorrow and Saturday.

Friday, February 5:

5am - dawn blessing of the Museum of Waitangi


4.45pm-5.15pm - Royal NZ Navy Beat Retreat at the Treaty Grounds flagpole. Navy band concert and marching followed by the lowering of the flag.

Saturday, February 6 - Waitangi Day (free entry to Treaty Grounds):

Upper Treaty Grounds

5am - Dawn ceremony at Te Whare Runanga. (carved meeting house)

6.30am - Flag raising ceremony accompanied by Scottish piper Bain McGregor.

10am - Interdenominational Church service at Te Whare Runanga.

10.30am-10.55am - Whangarei Brass Band.

11am-11.30am - New Zealand Youth Choir.

11.30am-12pm - Royal NZ Navy Big Band performance and Kapahaka at the Flagstaff.

noon - Royal NZ Navy 21 gun salute from HMNZS Canterbury.

12.10pm-12.40pm - Te Huaki Puanaki - Maori songwriter and recording artist.

12.50pm-1.50pm - Paul Ubana Jones - world renowned musician.

2pm-2.20pm - DDF Dance Crew - local hip-hop dance group.

2.30pm-2.50pm - Top Taitokerau Kapahaka group Hatea.

3pm-3.45pm - Chemamari - 7 piece RnB, Funk, Reggae, Rock band.

3.55pm-4.55pm - Anika Moa - Top NZ recording artist.

5pm-6pm - Koko Jamaz - Auckland based Polynesian covers band.

6.30pm - Final bus to Bledisloe Domain.

Waka stage:

10am-4pm - Market stalls selling arts, craft and food will be operating.

12.05pm - Northland Hiphop Dance.

12.30pm - Martin Sisters - Violinists.

1pm - Te Puu Ao Kapahaka group.

1.30pm - Top Taitokerau Kapahaka group Htea.

2pm - Te Huaki Puanaki - Maori songwriter and recording artist.

2.30pm - John Donoghue - soloist.

3.00pm - Jack Tane - Bay of Islands based jazz musician.

3.30pm - DDF Dance Crew - local hip hop dance group

All day waka will be on the water throughout the day, with an appearance by the world's largest ceremonial canoe, Ngtokimatawhaorua (tide and weather dependant).

Sports Field Area (opposite the Treaty Grounds)

10am-3pm - Ngati Hine Youth Stage have a full programme of entertainment, competitions and promotions throughout the day.

10am-4pm - Children's activities on the Waitangi sports field includes bouncy castles with various other fun rides and activities

All day - Around 20 waka will be on the water. The world's largest ceremonial canoe, Ngtokimatawhaorua will make an appearance as well (weather depending). Market stalls will be spread out around the waka shelter area and the sports field opposite the Treaty Grounds.

- Northern Advocate

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