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Case Study – Ngāti Kahungunu Waitangi Day Celebrations

Promoting cultural diversity

When organising their 2019 Waitangi Day celebrations Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated had some key objectives in mind. They wanted to celebrate the Treaty of Waitangi and, in doing so, create pride in all New Zealanders. They wanted to provide a space for a positive interaction between Ngāti Kahungungu and the wider community by promoting cultural diversity while recognising the role of mana whenua. And they wanted their event to create an opportunity for the many communities of Hawke’s Bay to come together in celebration of themselves and in commemoration of the Treaty.

With these goals in mind Ngāti Kahungunu set about organising celebrations that would cater to the over 10,000 visitors who braved the rain to join them.


Photo Credit: Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated

Wide tribal reach from Wairoa to Wairarapa

‘While our event is based in Hastings, our tribal rohe is from Wairoa to Wairarapa and we encourage as many of our Iwi members and wider community to attend. We promote our event as a celebration of our National Day and try to offer a range of entertainment that caters for everyone.’

For those who couldn’t be there on the day, the event was livestreamed on Facebook to more than 6,000 viewers.

‘We feel that the main reason why our event has great attendance is that it is a free to attend, the venue has lots of parking and there are a variety of activities available from the free show rides, onstage entertainment and a choice of sporting tournaments to participate in or watch.’

Local talent on display

The event had a focus on promoting and celebrating local talent. Musicians Aaron Edwards, Talitha Blake, Fraser MacKenzie and Blak Katz played and Te Aute College and Taikura Kaumatua Kapa Haka performed kapa haka.  Speeches by local politicians addressed the theme of the opening ceremony: ‘What does the Treaty of Waitangi mean to me?’


Photo Credit: Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated

Planning for next year

Ngāti Kahungunu believe that Waitangi Day commemorations are important, for they increase awareness of the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of our modern nation and enhance the mana and well-being of Kahungunu and the wider community. They plan to continue to bring Hawke’s Bay’s diverse communities together over kai, cultural performances, music and sports for many years to come, and planning is well underway for their 2020 celebrations.


Photo Credit: Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated


Updated on 19th September 2019