This year marks 177 years since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Aotearoa is now home to a range of cultural diversity but does our multicultural society know and understand what Waitangi Day is all about. It's a question Te Kāea put to festival patrons at the first Waitangi Kiwi Festival on Auckland's North Shore.
For many North Shore residents, the Waitangi Kiwi Festival at Brown Bay Community Center was their first opportunity to learn about the Treaty of Waitangi and its values.
Te Herenga o Te Kotahitanga cultural advocate Lani Ormsby says, “Most of the foreigners who live on the North Shore, know nothing or very little about the Treaty of Waitangi. We can help encourage them to want to learn and understand.”
Feedback from the crowd was positive,
“It’s a day of celebration for all of us not just for the Māori people. I would like to see more Māori culture on the north shore because we don’t have it over here.”
“This is a very white area that needs to understand about the treaty, so this is a wonderful way to do it for them. The treaty was an opportunity for us to become one to blend.”
Mrs. Ormsby says’, “There is a great need to for all New Zealanders to learn about the Treaty of Waitangi and celebrations like today can help bridge a pathway of learning and understanding the Treaty of Waitangi and its values."
Those who Te Kāea spoke to today welcomed the event to become an annual Waitangi celebration.