On Thursday, a Rotorua marae and the gardens around it will come to life as the community come together for a very special festival.

Titled For the Love of the People, the event is to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi almost 180 years ago.

This is the first year the event is being held. After the success of last August's Aronui Arts Festival, organiser Norma Sturley saw the opportunity to do it again, this time with a different focus.

"I was mindful to let the team know it isn't just a celebration but commemoration, a day of remembrance," she said. "Some people will celebrate it, some won't and we have to respect that.


"Still, it's an important day, our national day so why not do something?"

Sturley hopes it will also offer an opportunity to further educate the public about the Treaty.

"I think there's big learning curve there, people need to really take on board and learn what the Treaty is to us, and what it actually means."

The event will be held on February 6, at Ohinemutu Marae. It will run from 10am to 3pm, and all ages are welcome.

"It's targeted at the community," Sturley said. "Whoever wants to roll on down, come and enjoy the day. There's plenty of food stalls, people selling their wares... there's a lot happening."

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