People at this year's Paepae in the Park can expect to ride through the day on a rollercoaster of music, music programme director Kimba Mallowes says.

Patea's Waitangi Day celebrations are in their 17th year and are the South Taranaki town's biggest annual event on February 6. The venue is Memorial Park on SH3, with a side street closed off for stalls.

The pōwhiri starts at nine and then it's music all the way.

South Taranaki's Taikura (an older kapa haka group) perform at 9.35, then singer Ainslie Allen, a former female country vocalist of the year. After her is Hāwera Brass Band, with a new conductor and modern, relevant themes.


Female duet Just Us - Berna Hayward and Monique Matthews - take the stage at noon, with help from a backing track. They play "old hits that people like", Mallowes said.

They are followed by Taranaki blues and rock band The Jacks, then Patea Māori Club does its annual bracket of songs. The next band, Dark Water, is an experiment. It plays alternative heavy rock.

Rollercoaster music ride for Paepae in the Park
No reggae at Paepae in the Park in Pātea on Waitangi Day
Patea celebrates Waitangi Day with Paepae in the Park
Tenth year for Paepae in the park

The day ends with a blend of singer Krissie Knapp and band 2 Mile Bay belting out some rhythm and blues and hip-hop.

"I thought that would be a good way to finish things up, and get people up and dancing," Mallowes said.

The day's young MCs will be Len Hura-King and Tūheimoa Maruera.

The long-serving former secretary of the day's organising committee, Mareta Marsters-Grubner, has been coaching a new committee to run the event. They are chairwoman Melva Tucker, treasurer Gloria Tui and secretary Gillian Rio.

Anyone who wants to have a stall needs to contact Gloria Tui on 027 355 9938 - and fast. This year food stalls have to apply for a council permit. It's free, but it can take two weeks.


Funding for the festival comes from South Taranaki District Council, the Patea Community Board and Creative Communities New Zealand.