They started at a compass but there was never any doubt where they were headed.

The annual hikoi to Clive started close to where the Treaty was signed by three local chiefs aboard the HMS Herald 180 years ago, from the Celestial Star Compass at Waitangi Regional Park.

The banner-led hikoi included signatory descendants, MPs, mayors and councillors.

They were met on the banks of the Clive River at Farndon Park with powhiri, oratory and song.

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Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule said a feature of Waitangi Day in Hawke's Bay was the lack of politics.

"We in Hawke's Bay, I feel, have always operated face to face, understanding with each other without a lot of the big rhetoric and angles and dissension that are often signalled at the Treaty Grounds."

Napier MP and Police Minister Stuart Nash said the Government was always listening and needed to always reflect on how it gave effect to promises made.

Nash agreed with previous speakers, that a whole-community approach was needed for social problems.

"The Government cannot solve those alone. The local council cannot solve those alone, Ngati Kahungunu cannot solve those alone."

After the Clive ceremonies there was no doubt where the next stop was, the annual Ngati Kahungunu Waitangi Day celebrations at the regional sports park.

Master of ceremonies Kiini Krystal said the day was all about unity.

"This is a community, whanau-driven kaupapa," she said.

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"It is all about kotahitanga - coming together as one under the Treaty of Waitangi.

"That's what it was about, our Pakeha and our Māori signing an equal agreement so that we could live harmoniously.

"Now we extend that, of course, to a global community."

The day kicked off with morning sports tournaments for netball, touch rugby and rugby league nines.

Musical and dance entertainment brought the crowd to a formal ceremony at noon.

Afternoon entertainment included old-school waiata maestros The Harmonic Resonators, Hipstamatics, Te Aute College Kapa Haka, NRG Rising and Adeaze.

Headline act was Jaro Local, billed as "The unlikeliest hottest star in the Pacific right now. He's from the Solomon Islands and has 5 million views on social media".

Krystal said Waitangi Day was a day "we must uphold and protect and celebrate in any which way we can".

"It is also to remind our future generations of the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi."

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