Waitangi Day set to promote Maori culture

By Sonya Bateson


Waitangi Day is coming with different celebratory events in Rotorua.

Whakarewarewa Thermal Village is holding its annual Whakanuia with the day focused on cultural activities.

Translated, whakanuia means "to acknowledge, promote and celebrate" - a fitting name for an event that celebrates Maori and international culture.

Whakarewarewa marketing co-ordinator Renee Raimona said that as well as promoting Maori culture, the village also chose one different culture from around the world to promote at Whakanuia, this year being all parts of America.

"Along with our own culture, we're celebrating the Americas. North, south, east and west - the likes of Brazilian dancing and things like that.

"We've got a band from Auckland called the Caribbean Southern Stars Steel Band who will be performing, as well as the likes of Lisa Kohunui, Dance to Inspire, the belly dance crew, Brendan Dugan."

There will also be entertainment for the children, with the Travelling Tuataras coming along for a show.

"They will be taking care of the tamariki [children] and their arts and crafts will also be themed around the Americas. The Cancer Society will be providing shade and sunscreen and there will be heaps of food stalls and arts and craft stalls, plus weaving classes."

The usual village tours will be running every hour throughout the day and there will be three Maori cultural performances.

This is the sixth year Whakanuia will be held at Whakarewarewa.

"We do it because not only do we have our Maori culture here in Rotorua, we add in different culture within our community. Hardly any people know what other cultures we have within Rotorua.

"It's just a way for us to promote each other."

Entry for locals will cost a gold coin donation. Whakanuia will run from 10am to 3pm, with a wearable arts show towards the end of the day.

Whakarewarewa thermal village will be open from its normal time of 8.30am to 5pm.

Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute will open its doors to the public celebrating Waitangi Day.

Visitors can visit the institute from 6.30pm to view New Zealand's largest carving, under construction and ready to be displayed at Te Matatini Kapa Haka 2013 in February.

Marketing executive Renata West said Te Puia would be having a presentation and the opportunity for people to see "history in the making".

There would be no charge to visit Te Puia for the presentation.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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