11 Dec 2012

Plans for next Waitangi Day well underway

7:19 pm on 11 December 2012

The Waitangi National Trust says there will be a real emphasis on family fun at celebrations at Waitangi in February.

The trust, which on Tuesday released a programme for its festival spread over six days, is promoting a clean, green Waitangi Day for 2013.

One feature is the official opening by Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, of a kiorahi field on Waitangi Trust land, and the placing around the field of eight carved pou, each of which has a family theme.

Kiorahi is a catching, passing and tackling game which Maori play on a round field using a woven flax ball.

One of the pou is dedicated to the Maori battalion which had its last send off at Waitangi in 1942, before heading overseas to fight in World War II.

Weaving experts will be on hand at the opening to teach visitors how to make balls and birds out of flax.

The day before Waitangi Day the Treaty grounds will host a range of family events from martial art demonstrations using traditional Maori weapons, to spinning, weaving, felting, and tapestry workshops. There will also be a talent quest.

The Waitangi National Trust says it's working with community and business groups to make Waitangi Day clean and green, and the Treaty grounds will have 15 three bin recycling stations.