A Tauranga historian hopes an inaugural two-venue Waitangi Day festival will set a precedent for future celebrations of the national day.

The Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Festival 2019 will be held at both Mount Maunganui's Mount Drury (Hopukiore) and Tauranga's Historic Village tomorrow.

The festival has been organised by the He Iwi Kotahi collective, led by consultant and historian Buddy Mikaere, who hopes the event will be the start of something new.

Mikaere hopes to make the festival an annual event and incorporate it with citizenship ceremonies to put more of a multi-ethnic spin on the day as more people from all over the world move to Tauranga.


"It is not just Māori and Pakeha any more," he said. "Let's celebrate them too."

Buddy Mikaere hopes the inaugural Waitangi Day event will be the first of many. Photo / George Novak
Buddy Mikaere hopes the inaugural Waitangi Day event will be the first of many. Photo / George Novak

Mikaere expects more than 1500 people to attend the festival, which will follow on from the dawn service at Mount Drury (Hopukiore) organised by the Tauranga and Western Bay councils.

The festival will include live music from the Māori Volcanics, Left Hand Break, Regan Perry and Whirimako Black from 10am to 6pm, as well as food trucks, stalls, activities and workshops.

The event was created by community groups and businesses including The Incubator, Metro Marketing and The Kollective.

The Incubator will be offering free community workshops, of raranga (flax weaving), poi making, ta moko and Māori instruments demonstrations, and a te reo cafe where people could learn more about the Māori language, phrases and pronunciation.

There will also be Waitangi-themed art exhibitions curated by artist Parewhati Taikato and celebrating Toi Māori art.

The Te hā o Waitaiki exhibition inside The Incubator Gallery will feature the work of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology graduates Te Pae Kuka and Kath Lousich.

The Waitangi exhibition inside the People's Gallery will feature artists Regan Balzer, Te Marunui Hotene, Linda Munn, Justine Munn, Robyn Williams, Arohanoa Mathews and Jude Hulton.


The Waitangi Day dawn service to commemorate the signing of the Te Titiri ō Waitangi will be held at the base of Hopukiore (Mount Drury).

The dawn service will start at 6.30am with a whakatau (welcome) by Tauranga Moana tangata whenua, followed by a community celebration, speeches and hymns.

Speakers will include local kaumatua (elders), clergy, civic leaders and rangatahi (youth).

There will be an open forum for speakers as well as kapa haka and musical performances.

Marine Parade from Grace Ave to Pacific Ave will be closed from 5am until 10am, with some parking available inside the cordon for mobility card holders, kaumatua and kuia and other dignitaries.

Waitangi Day in Tauranga Moana

What: Dawn service Waitangi Day 2019
Where: Hopukiore (Mount Drury), Mount Maunganui
When: 6.30am to 8.30am
Cost: Free

What: Tauranga Moana Waitangi Day Festival 2019
Where: Mount Drury (Hopukiore) and Tauranga's Historic Village on 17th Ave
When: 10am onwards
Cost: Gold coin donation

Waitangi Day weather
A weakening front moving over the North Island will bring afternoon showers with a high of 28C.
Source: MetService